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Idaho gas prices buck national trend

| December 8, 2020 1:00 AM

COEUR d'ALENE — Idaho drivers have already received a nice present this holiday season — especially in Coeur d'Alene, where drivers are paying less than the national average today.

According to AAA, the state’s average gas price is currently 64 cents cheaper than a year ago, the third-largest decrease in the country.

Now just 9 cents apart, Idaho’s average price is falling, while the U.S. average has increased by 4 cents in the past month. However, pump prices are expected to drop to end the year.

Today, Idaho’s average price is $2.27, which is 4 cents less than a month ago and 64 cents less than a year ago.

In Coeur d'Alene, gas is as low as $2.03 a gallon.

The national average currently sits at $2.16, which is 4 cents more than a month ago, but 42 cents less than a year ago. To begin the week, Idaho fell out of its usual spot in the 7th to 9th place range for most expensive fuel and is currently ranked 12th in the country.

“It’s still too early to predict how current restrictions will impact holiday travel volumes, and in turn, gas prices,” said Matthew Conde, public affairs director for AAA Idaho. “Drivers might pay a little more to fill up in the days leading up to Christmas, but right now, things are looking very good for the family budget.”

Arizona leads the way for the biggest yearly decrease (-69 cents), but several Gem State neighbors made the top ten list, including Nevada (-65 cents), Utah (-63 cents), Colorado (-61 cents), Oregon (-56 cents), and Wyoming (-54 cents).

“Some Western states like Idaho have longer distribution networks that can increase the price of fuel delivery, but when demand softens, we also reap some of the biggest savings,” Conde said. “No one welcomes the effects of the pandemic, but it’s clear that they are combining with colder temperatures to keep people closer to home and drive down prices.”

Here’s a selection of Idaho gas prices as of Monday: Coeur d'Alene, $2.14; Boise, $2.25; Franklin, $2.29; Idaho Falls, $2.19; Lewiston, $2.35; Pocatello, $2.27; Twin Falls, $2.32