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Failed petrol promises: Cheaper 'summer gasoline' has yet to be seen

The Pacific Northwest is witnessing inflation at the pump, despite expert suggestion that cheaper gas 'will be on the way soon.'

BOISE, Idaho — Gasoline prices in Idaho continue to trend upward, with the average cost in Boise having risen nearly a dime in just one week's time.

Despite the increase, GasBuddy Head of Petroleum Patrick De Haan said that "relief will be on the way soon in areas that have resisted the fall thus far" as buyers routinely transition to summer gasoline - a seasonal blend optimized for warmer temperatures.

"Pump prices in other parts of the country have been dropping because of cheaper crude oil. While that hasn't happened here yet, at least the Idaho average has slowed down," said AAA Idaho Public Affairs Director Matthew Conde.

The Gem State currently ranks 11th in the U.S. for most expensive fuel.


According to data provided by GasBuddy, Boise saw an average increase of 9.8 cents per gallon in the last week, bringing the capitol city's average to $3.78.

Prices in Boise are 12.1 cents per gallon higher than a month ago, but gas is still cheaper than it was one year ago, 69.2 cents per gallon cheaper. 

"The average price to fill up in Idaho is still roughly 70 cents per gallon cheaper than a year ago, so we don't expect to see many travelers postpone or cancel their road trips for now," said Conde.

As of Monday, GasBuddy found the cheapest station in Boise was priced at $3.49 per gallon, while the most expensive was $3.83 per gallon. 

According to GasBuddy, Idaho's average cost of unleaded gasoline per gallon was $3.70, as of Monday - up 7.8 cents from last week. AAA Idaho data calculated a slightly different average price at $3.71 for the state. 

The lowest price in the state was $3.28, while the most expensive gas in the Gem State was $4.45 per gallon - for a difference of $1.17 per gallon.

"Lately, the state and national averages have been two ships passing in the night, but if fuel demand remains high, gas prices everywhere will be under a lot of pressure to follow suit," said Conde.

Idaho average gasoline prices as of Monday, May 1:

  • Boise - $3.78
  • Coeur d'Alene - $3.60
  • Franklin - $3.78
  • Idaho Falls - $3.51
  • Lewiston - $3.60
  • Pocatello - $3.60
  • Rexburg - $3.59
  • Twin Falls - $3.70


The entire Pacific Northwest region is witnessing the inflation at the pump.

"With refinery maintenance wrapping up, we should see supplies start to build in the weeks ahead, just in time for the summer driving season, potentially putting more downward pressure on prices," said De Haan.

As consumers await the supposed summer price drop, Idaho's neighboring areas are reflecting the same costly trend as summer travel arrives. 

According to AAA data, Washington state remains our costliest neighbor with an average price of $4.60 per gallon. Utah's average cost rises to $3.79, a more than 10-cent jump from last week, April 24. 

GasBuddy quoted Oregon's average price to be $4.07, a 4.5-cent increase from one week ago.

"Barring a major economic downturn, any pause in rising pump prices will be exactly that – a temporary halt in the trend of higher prices leading up to Memorial Day," said Conde.  


"After declining the prior week at a slow pace, the drop in the national average has gained momentum. Oil prices have come under additional selling pressure alongside wholesale gasoline prices, giving retailers room to pass on the lower prices," said De Haan.

According to the Energy Information Administration, gasoline demand soared to 9.5 million barrels per day, a 1-million-barrel increase from the previous week.

As of Monday, the most expensive fuel in the U.S. can be found in California ($4.87), Hawaii ($4.78), Arizona ($4.70), Washington ($4.60), and Nevada ($4.26). The cheapest fuel can be purchased in Mississippi at $3.08 per gallon.

The national average price of regular unleaded gasoline fell 6.3 cents since last Monday's report, bringing the national average to $3.58 per gallon.

However, the national average is still more expensive than it was one month ago, 8.2 cents per gallon more.

"Diesel prices have followed, falling to their lowest in over 13 months as demand remains weak due to concerns over the economy," said De Haan.

Despite these continued fluctuations of single-digit cost variations, consumers find some reprieve, because this time last year, the national average price per gallon was 59.6 cents more at $4.17 per gallon.

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