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Idaho gas prices below national average

| May 12, 2020 1:00 AM

BOISE — Gas in Coeur d’Alene and Post Falls has dropped under $1.50 for a gallon of regular unleaded.

“The Gem State normally falls between seventh and ninth place in the nation for most expensive fuel, but thanks to dramatic price increases in other parts of the country, Idaho currently ranks 25th,” according to a AAA press release.

The U.S. average is $1.85, which is two cents less than a month ago and $1.02 less than a year ago, according to Triple A.

Idahoans are now paying $1.81 per gallon, which is 26 cents less than a month ago and $1.32 less than a year ago. Currently, 40 states have average prices under $2 per gallon, the press release said.

Spokane gas prices are in the $2.25 range for a gallon of regular unleaded.

“In a rare turn of events, Idaho gas prices are currently below the national average, even as both prices went up in the last week,” the release said.

“Some of the more-populated states with large metropolitan areas have been among the first to see pump prices soar as COVID-19 restrictions have been or are about to be loosened,” says AAA Idaho public affairs director Matthew Conde. "In our area and in other parts of the country, the oversupply of gasoline is starting to shrink up a little bit. As more people get out and about, and as the overall demand continues to grow, it will put upward pressure on fuel prices.”

According to the Energy Information Administration, regional gasoline stocks are currently at 8.4 million barrels, about 1.5 million barrels more than this time last year. Refinery utilization rates and gasoline demand are increasing, and fuel stocks have dipped during the past three weeks.

All signs indicate that the trend will continue.

“Idaho’s multi-phase plan to re-open the economy will likely be accompanied by a corresponding increase in gas prices, but they may not move as forcefully here as in other parts of the nation over the short term,” Conde said.