Idaho gas Prices Higher…Could Be Worse
Nationally, gas has gone up around 15 cents per gallon in the last month with an average now sitting at $3.71. Here in Idaho, we're sitting five cents below the national average at $3.66 a gallon. That's still up a bit from a month ago. Back in early spring, Charley Jones, who co-owns Stinker Stores, told Idaho’s News Channel 7 that things didn't look good. He thought prices would keep climbing. They did for a while but now he says things are looking a bit more stable. When the White House announced at the end of June it would release millions of barrels from the strategic oil reserve, Jones said it's likely the president was trying to catch oil speculators off guard when prices had momentarily dipped. Jones explained speculators allow large companies, like airlines, to lock in fuel rates. Those speculators can have a big grip on the market, which impacts everyday drivers at the pump.
He believes the White House move was a good one. And though it really didn't trickle down much to everyday consumers, Jones says the release of reserves could have prevented a spike.
Jones says Idaho prices are below the national average in part because Idahoans didn't respond well to a jump earlier in the summer and retailers needed to stay competitive. Within the state, prices can vary a lot because of the amount of competition in each area. Northern Idaho has the highest prices, the Treasure Valley area has mid-range prices and the cheapest gas is going to be on the eastern side of the state.