BOISE - Hurricanes, federal reserve, rumors, oh my.
AAA Idaho announced that the average price for regular grade gasoline is at a all time high statewide, a penny higher than the national average, citing a slew of reasons for the increase in a prepared statement Tuesday.
Based on AAA's Daily Fuel Gauge Report - fuelgaugereport.aaa.com - Idaho's average price today is $3.855, compared to the U.S. mark of $3.843.
Idaho's price increased 5.5-cents-per-gallon in the last week.
Even with a more stable market than in August, consumers are feeling the pain at the pump, according to AAA Spokesman Dave Carlson.
"The average U.S. mark is a bit more stable than it was in August when regional refinery and pipeline problems - added to rising oil prices - were making for more rapid increases at the pump," he said.
Nevertheless, gas prices continue to climb. In the past month, the U.S. average price has risen 18 cents.
Idaho's average price, which trailed the national average by 12 cents a month ago, has risen 28 cents since then to overtake the national average.
Even with the 28-cent increase in the past month, Idaho's current $3.855 average is still below the $4.04 and $4.06 averages in Oregon and Washington, respectively. Nine states currently have average prices above $4 a gallon, according to AAA.
Tuesday's average price in Idaho was the highest ever for the Sept. 11 calendar day, and is 13.5 cents higher than a year ago. Likewise, Tuesday's U.S. mark is 18 cents higher than a year ago, continuing a streak of more than three weeks of daily records.
Recently, however, gas prices increased from the Gulf Coast to the Midwest to begin September as markets prepared for possible supply and distribution disruptions from Hurricane Isaac. But as concern over the lasting impact of the storm has diminished and Gulf Coast refiners have successfully restarted production, prices in these states have dropped.
Why else the rise?
Conflicting economic factors last week resulted in little net change in oil prices, the press release stated. Domestically and international economic forecasts pressured prices lower, while tight supplies and rumors of a potential third round of quantitative easing by the Federal Reserve designed to stimulate the U.S. economy pressured prices higher.
"It's reasonable to assume that the national average price will decline as demand drops off following the busy summer driving period," Carlson said. In addition, refineries are switching from summer-blend fuels to less expensive winter-blend gasoline.