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AAA Idaho has good news on gas prices

Gas prices may be down to $3.25 a gallon nationally by Thanksgiving, AAA Idaho said Wednesday.

Wholesale gasoline futures have dropped 30 cents since the start of October, and retail prices, which typically lag wholesale price declines, are now beginning to reflect this drop. On Tuesday, crude oil for December delivery declined $1.98 to $86.67 a barrel, the lowest since mid-July.

The U.S. average pump price has dropped 13 cents in the past week to $3.63 a gallon. At $3.82 a gallon, Idaho’s average is down a penny from a week ago and is 19 cents higher than the national average. Idaho’s average price, which lagged the U.S. average for the first five months of the year, is now 10 th highest in the country.

“Much of the volatility in pricing has been a regional phenomenon brought on by pipeline shutdowns and refinery fires,” according to AAA Idaho Public Affairs Director Dave Carlson in a news release. “Idaho has not been directly impacted by those events, and we’re not aware of any such problems currently at the Utah and Wyoming refineries that serve Idaho.”

AAA said high gas prices continue to not just be a front-of-mind issue for motorists, but also a frequent topic in Washington and on the presidential campaign trail. AAA said because gas is a traded global commodity, there is no silver-bullet solution to high gas prices and there is very little that politicians in Washington can do in the short-term to meaningfully impact prices.

“Motorists have experienced volatile pump prices due to increasing global demand, geopolitical tensions overseas, international economic news, and most recently domestic supply and distribution issues,” said Carlson.

In the past week, 10 states experienced pump price drops from 16-cents (Iowa) to 26-cents-a-gallon (Michigan). Altogether, prices in 16 states are more than a dime lower on the week.

AAA Idaho expects that the national average is likely to be $3.40 to $3.65 when Americans head to the polls in in two weeks and to be $3.25 to $3.40 by Thanksgiving. Year-to-date U.S. prices are averaging $3.65 per gallon, versus $3.55 in 2011, putting this year on track to be the most expensive year ever.

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