IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI) - "For Idaho drivers, it’s been another week of rising gas prices, with no end in sight," AAA of Idaho says.
According to the motor vehicle service, the average price for a gallon of regular in the Gem State is $4.06, which is a nickel more than a week ago and 15 cents more than a month ago.
Meanwhile, the national average currently sits at $3.85 per gallon, which is two cents more than a week ago and 28 cents more than a month ago.
“Idaho gas prices dropped in July, bucking the national trend. But unfortunately, the ripple effects are catching up with us in August,” AAA Idaho public affairs director Matthew Conde said. “Right now, we’re experiencing a one-two punch of strong fuel demand and expensive crude oil, both of which translate to pain at the pump that could continue through Labor Day.”
Conde says the price of crude oil is sitting above $80 a gallon. He says that is partially due to the stubbornness of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.
"They've (OPEC has) maintained a certain level of crude oil production cuts and they've kept those going," Conde said. "Saudi Arabia has piled on top of that with additional cuts, another million barrels a day that they're holding back in the market right now...They want to create pressure on the market to where their product remains extremely valuable."
He believes prices should begin to fall as schools reopen and Idahoans end finish their summer travel plans, but that won't end the demand from out of state tourists.
"(There are) still a lot of people coming and going through Idaho...and they're putting some extra demand on that supply. (They're) soaking up some of that gas that does drive up the prices for everybody," Conde said. "Certainly people are still passing through because a lot of places like the West Coast, a lot of them don't start school till after Labor Day."
Conde says the situation is not ideal, but far better than the price at the pump last year.
"The glass half full person will say that we're still paying $0.60 less per gallon today than we did a year ago in Idaho," Conde said. "Keeping in mind that last year we topped off around $5.20 a gallon for regular, we're we're clearly nowhere near that point right now."
He says it's a small victory, but Idaho drives may just have to ride out this storm of skyrocketing prices.