Why are gasoline prices so high?  The question came from a radio caller.  He travels long distances for work.  Gas is cheaper in Wyoming than Idaho and much cheaper in Texas.

First, some obvious factors.  Texas has wells.  Texas has refineries.  Many of both.  Trucking the finished product to market is a short hike.  Wyoming has a major refinery.  You can see it at work when driving Interstate 80 and at night from miles away.

Idaho is a bit more isolated, however.  It’s not the only factor involved in price.  We’re still living with an increase in gas taxes, which was created to raise money for road and bridge repairs.  Do you believe this tax is permanent? 

Even while demand may not be strong and supply is plentiful and apparently growing.  Confused yet?

Late summer of 2018 I was in Montana.  Gas was 20 to 25 cents a gallon cheaper than Idaho.  Late summer of 2019 I was in Montana.  Gas was about the same as here.  Montana had a gas tax increase beginning in July.  A mild increase.  So, I don’t blame it for the equalization when it comes to buying a gallon.  The very same state had a bigger gas tax increase starting in July two years ago, which leaves me wondering about the state’s lower prices only one year ago but not this summer.

According to this link, prices in Idaho are higher because of good economic news.  Even while demand may not be strong and supply is plentiful and apparently growing.  Confused yet?  The same link gives me the impression the price per gallon in Twin Falls is among the lowest in the state.  Which still doesn’t offer much comfort.  The price is 13 cents higher compared with just a few short weeks ago.

A guy with an advanced degree in finance recently told me he rides his bicycle to work.  Don’t consider it an advantage for your wallet.  He crunched some numbers and discovered driving his car would be cheaper!  Bikes need maintenance, after all.

If you can offer a definitive answer on why we’re much higher than the national average, please feel free to comment.

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