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Idaho gas prices are on the rise again, and after a particularly sharp spike in cost last week, our state once again has some of the highest gas prices in the country, according to AAA Idaho.
Last week, Idaho gas prices rose by 16 cents to an average of $2.72 per gallon, AAA said in a press release. That was the highest increase in the country, and it boosted Idaho to No. 10 in the U.S. for highest average gas prices.
“Idaho fuel is the most expensive in the Rocky Mountain region,” AAA said. Utah saw a 14-cent price increase last week, while Oregon and Washington prices each jumped by 9 cents.
Idaho’s average $2.72 per gallon is 11 cents higher than the national average. It’s also 24 cents higher than the average cost this time last year. And AAA Idaho spokesman Matthew Conde said prices at the pump show “no signs of slowing down” heading into the summer.
So what gives?
The spike can be attributed to a few things. The price of crude oil has risen $18 since last year to about $65/barrel, AAA reports. In addition, Rocky Mountain refineries’ capacity was curtailed in March thanks to scheduled maintenance that will continue into April.
“It’s important to note that the Rocky Mountain region has 16 operating refineries and the smallest refining capacity of any region in the United States at 0.7 million barrels of distilled product per day,” Conde said in the release. “When refineries perform even routine maintenance, there can be an impact on supply. Unexpected delays could lead to additional regional price increases.”
Gas also becomes more expensive in the summer, due to additives in the fuel that prevent evaporation in high temperatures. And demand for fuel grows across the U.S. in the spring and summer, further boosting prices.
While Boise doesn’t boast Idaho’s highest gas prices, the average cost per gallon in the Treasure Valley is $2.79, higher than the state average. In Stanley, AAA reports, Idaho prices have reached their highest at $3.00 per gallon.