Oil prices are at some of their lowest points in eight months, closing Monday at less than $80 a barrel. Around the country, drivers are enjoying some relief from the pain at the pump.
In eastern Idaho, however, a lot of our viewers have been asking us lately, "Why are Idaho's gas prices higher than everyone else's?”
“Gotta conserve a lot more to spend on the gas,” said Buck Staggie, one of the few people we could track down at one of the centrally-located gas stations at Idaho Falls.
The rest of the United States has seen some relief at the pumps, with a national average price of $3.44 for a gallon of regular gasoline. In Idaho, the average still sits at $3.68.
“It makes me pretty angry,” Staggie said. “I hope that prices go down a little bit.”
And they will, according to Gregg Laskoski, a petroleum analyst with GasBuddy.com.
If you look at the site's "Heat Map," you'll see that much of the Pacific Northwest is in the red, signifying higher gas prices.
Laskoski explained that the region has a relatively sparse amount of oil refineries compared to the rest of the country. Many of those refineries have had some mechanical issues this spring, including fires and maintenance problems, which cut down on supply.
When supply goes down, prices go up.
"Yeah it does hurt,” said Ed Briden, who was headed to Island Park for a family vacation. “Can't do as many outings or travel out as much because of the cost factor."
When prices go up, people flock to the cheapest gas station in town.
In Idaho Falls' case, the cheapest gas is at the Sinclair station on Overland Drive, off of West 65th South.
Otherwise, we could just envy folks like 16-year-old Kayden Hogge.
"I don't really pay for gas, so I don't care," Hogge, who lets his mother foot the bill, said.
Laskoski said that gas prices in our area will drop drastically in the near future, because the mechanical problems are being fixed.
Here are a few more "cheap" stations in eastern Idaho:
- Pocatello: Costco at Quinn Road and McKinley Avenue
- Blackfoot: Sinclair at South Broadway and West Walker Street
- Rexburg: Maverik at North 2nd East and East 1st North