Gas prices: How low will they go?

by CRAIG NORTHRUP/ Hagadone News Network
| April 8, 2020 12:54 PM

For the second week in a row, Idaho’s average gas price dropped 14 cents per gallon, pushing Gem State pump prices ever closer to the $2 mark, according to AAA Idaho.

Today, Idaho’s average price is $2.17 per gallon, which is 39 cents less than a month ago and 47 cents less than a year ago.

As local motorists can attest, if you’re paying $2.17 a gallon around here, you’re paying too much. Many local stations are selling regular gas for well under $2 a gallon.

The current U.S. average is $1.92 per gallon, which is 48 cents less than a month ago, and 82 cents less than a year ago, AAA reports. Idaho currently ranks 11th in the nation for most expensive gas prices, but usually falls in the seventh- to ninth–place range.

Stay-home orders, safety precautions, and economic uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus pandemic are keeping more Americans close to home despite the return of warm weather that usually triggers the start of road trip season and weekend getaways.

“According to the latest report from the Energy Information Administration, nationwide demand for fuel has dropped to just 6.7 million barrels per day, a level that we haven’t seen since 1993,” said Matthew Conde of AAA Idaho. “The economic engine is definitely sputtering while we work to limit the effects of COVID-19, and gas prices are falling faster than expected.”

Global crude oil prices remain abnormally low amid an ongoing price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia, applying further downward pressure on gas prices. Today, the West Texas Intermediate benchmark for crude oil is trading near $27 per barrel, which is $14 less than a month ago and $37 less than a year ago.