While Idahoans watch the rest of the nation enjoy lower prices at the pumps in the run-up to the Fourth of July, the local office of the Automobile Association of America concedes that local motorists have good reason to be perplexed.
"The national average, which peaked at $3.94 a gallon in early April, has dropped 56 cents since then, causing even the most casual Idaho observers to ask, 'What gives?'" said Dave Carlson, AAA's Idaho public affairs director. "If the [oil] acquisition price is lower now than it was several months ago, how can Idaho's pump prices not reflect that movement?"
Carlson said his organization speculates that the refinery outputs or distribution have been what they call "constrained or spread thin," and that limited regional supplies have led to the higher local prices.
According to idahogasprices.com, some of the lowest gas prices in the Gem State have been reported at a few Boise service stations, selling a gallon of unleaded for $3.54. However, a number of other stations, in particular near resort areas, are charging a great deal more. Idahogasprices.com reports one station in McCall selling a gallon of unleaded for $3.94, and a handful of stations in Hailey charging $3.89 per gallon.