Hurricane Laura, Labor Day Run-Up Push Fuel Demand and Gas Prices Higher
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Hurricane Laura, Labor Day Run-Up Push Fuel Demand and Gas Prices Higher

AAA | 2020 Idaho Gas Price News

Gem State prices jump two cents in a week, U.S. average up a nickel

BOISE – After weeks of relative calm at the pump, gas prices are on the move in Idaho and across the country.  AAA says that Gem State prices are up two cents in a week and that the U.S. average jumped a nickel as Hurricane Laura and end-of-summer road trips motivated more drivers to fill up.  And with 97 percent of travelers choosing their car over other modes of transportation for a summer getaway, gas prices could continue to climb heading into Labor Day.

According to the Energy Information Administration, fuel demand hit 9.2 million barrels per day this week – the highest level since the start of the pandemic.  But demand is still 739,000 b/d below where it was last year, and gasoline stock levels are still seven million barrels higher than last year.

“If fuel demand trails off after Labor Day, as we would expect during a typical year, drivers should see some nice savings when they fill up throughout the fall,” says Matthew Conde, public affairs director for AAA Idaho.  “Of course, ‘typical’ isn’t a word we’ve been using a lot lately, and with good reason.  Pent-up travel demand and the possibility of a record-setting hurricane season still have the potential to change the landscape in a hurry.”

The National Hurricane Center is currently tracking four tropical formations that could escalate in the coming days and weeks.  Seven of this season’s 13 named storms have made landfall in the U.S.  As a precautionary measure before the arrival of Hurricane Laura, 70 percent of oil production in the Gulf Coast went offline, and many Americans living in affected areas topped off their tanks in case fuel supplies were interrupted.  Both actions put additional upward pressure on gas prices.

The average price of regular in Idaho is $2.45, which is four cents higher than a month ago, but 36 cents less than a year ago.  The current national average is $2.23, which is four cents higher than a month ago, and 35 cents less than a year ago.  Idaho currently ranks 8th in the country for the highest gas prices.

Labor Day Travel Advice

“It’s still really warm in most parts of the state, but if you’re heading up into the backcountry, the temperatures are starting to drop overnight,” Conde said.  “Even if you’re planning a simple day trip, it’s not a bad idea to toss a couple of emergency blankets, an extra change of clothes, and an emergency kit into your car in case you run into trouble in a remote area.”

AAA also recommends that drivers bring along food and water for people and pets, along with flares or reflectors that can be used to signal for help, and a flashlight with extra batteries.  If you’re going somewhere with limited cell phone service, share your travel plans with a friend or family member who can act on your behalf if you fail to return home on time.

Here’s a sample of gas prices around the Gem State as of 8/31/20:

  • Boise – $2.49
  • Coeur d’Alene – $2.32
  • Franklin – $2.45
  • Idaho Falls – $2.34
  • Lewiston – $2.45
  • Pocatello – $2.38
  • Twin Falls – $2.42
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