Gas Prices Surpass $5 in Blaine | Transportation
After rising more than fifty cents per gallon over the past month, average gasoline prices in the Wood River Valley have now topped the $5 mark, above the state average of about $4.90 and the national average of $4.87.
On Monday, at Hailey stations, regular unleaded gasoline was selling for $5.16; premium 87 octane gasoline cost $5.46; and premium, 91 octane, $5.75. In Ketchum, prices on Monday were 20 to 40 cents higher, at $5.36 for regular gasoline, $5.76 for plus-grade and $6.16 for premium.
That’s up from the $4.60 mark in Hailey and the $4.80 mark in Ketchum a month ago.
According to a press release issued Monday by the American Automobile Association, the price hike can be attributed to “crude oil market volatility, fuel shortages and growing demand.” Seven other Idaho counties — Boise, Camas, Clearwater, Fremont, Latah, Shoshone and Valley — average more than $5 a gallon for regular gasoline, according to the AAA.
“For 10 states and the District of Columbia, the $5 mark is already in the rearview mirror. Idaho could easily get there by the end of the week,” said AAA-Idaho public affairs director Matthew Conde. “It’s strange that the phrase ‘record’ has become so monotonous, but prices are being exceeded almost every day, which means we could be in for a very difficult summer.”
The AAA noted that while the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) “recently agreed to increase monthly production by 648,000 barrels per day in July and August”, the European Union’s proposal last week to eliminate all oil imports from Russia by the end of 2022 continues to drive up prices.
“AAA says gasoline demand is also growing and recently hit 9 million barrels per day as drivers prepared for Memorial Day travel, the association said. gasoline fell by 700,000 barrels and domestic crude supplies are also nearly 14% lower than a year ago. If the trend of rising demand and scarcity of supply continues, prices will likely continue to rise as Independence Day approaches.
Today, the most expensive states for gasoline are California ($6.34), Nevada ($5.49), Hawaii ($5.47), Oregon ($5.42) , Washington ($5.41), Illinois ($5.40), Alaska ($5.38), Arizona ($5.13), Michigan ($5.06) and Indiana ($5. $.00). The cheapest fuel in the country can be purchased in Georgia at $4.29 per gallon.
“If those prices hit in the middle or late summer, most drivers would probably be preparing to quit,” Conde said. “But with so many travel plans yet to be completed, some families are going to have a stubborn streak and push ahead for now, regardless of how gas prices go.”