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HUNTING/FISHING — Declining fuel prices are good news for hunters in the peak of the fall seasons as well as for steelhead anglers pulling boats to the big rivers:
The national average price for regular unleaded gasoline has dropped for 18 straight days to a national average of $3.20 a gallon, according to American Automobile Association surveys.
Pacific states as well as Idaho are still among the most expensive regions for purchasing gas, but Washington ranks third in the nation for the rate of fuel-price drop in the past month.
The national price represents a 2014 low and is the lowest average for the Columbus Day holiday since 2010 when gas averaged $2.81 a gallon, AAA reports.
Today’s average price is nine cents less than one week ago, 20 cents less than one month ago and 15 cents less than one year ago.
Drivers in six states are paying an average price below three dollars per gallon to refuel their vehicles with eight additional states posting prices within a nickel of this mark.
- Missouri has the lowest gas price average per gallon: $2.90.
- Hawaii has the highest: $4.13.
- California has the highest in the continental U.S.: $3.60.
- New York and Oregon both are at $3.52.
- Washington's average is $3.51. That’s 11 cents lower than a week ago and down 33 cents in a month. But it’s 31 cents higher than the national average.
- Idaho's average is $3.46, although Coeur d'Alene is well below the average at $3.23
- Montana's average is $3.39, with prices significantly lower — $3.17 — at Superior on I-90 60 miles west of Missoula.
Washington metro prices from today’s AAA survey include:
Bellingham $3.57, Bremerton $3.35, Seattle-Bellevue-Everett $3.61, Tacoma $3.43, Olympia $3.45, Vancouver $3.50, Yakima $3.49, Tri-Cities $3.49, and Spokane $3.44.
Here's a news item from the Associated Press: BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Idaho motorists are finally getting a break at the gas pump. AAA Idaho reports that gasoline prices have dipped below the national average. The state's 26-cent drop in prices in the last 30 days is also the nation's biggest price decline. The state's average price on Tuesday as $3.15 per gallon, down from $3.41 a month ago and $3.43 the same time a year ago. AAA Idaho spokesman Dave Carlson says the last time Idaho's average price dipped this low was in late January. The national average price is $3.20, and three states have average prices below the $3 mark — Missouri, Oklahoma and Kansas. Pump prices vary across the state, from $3.19 in Boise to $2.93 in Coeur d'Alene and $3.23 in Lewiston.
Idaho gas prices finally slide below national average, as thousands prepare to hit roads for holiday
AAA Idaho expects some 195,000 Idahoans to hit the roads for Thanksgiving holiday travel this year, and the motorists group says there’s good news for travelers: Idaho’s gas prices have dropped below the national average for the first time since the third week in May. AAA reported that the average Idaho gas price is now $3.22 per gallon, while the national average is $3.28. Idaho’s prices have fallen by 7 cents a gallon in the past week, while the national average rose by 7 cents.
Air travelers could have more trouble, however, as nearly 1,000 flights were canceled at Dallas-Fort Worth Airport on Sunday and Monday, and the winter storm causing the trouble is expected to reach the East Coast on Wednesday, one of the busiest travel days of the year. You can read AAA’s full Thanksgiving travel update here.
Idahoans are now paying the seventh-highest gas prices in the country, AAA reports today, at an average $3.75 a gallon, down about 5 cents from a month ago, but well above the $3.48 national average. Washington is even higher, ranking fourth in the nation at $3.79; Utah is 10th at $3.71. AAA Idaho says gas prices mostly have been dropping around the nation, but western states haven’t seen the big drop. Now, with the uncertainty in Egypt, the motorist group expects gas prices to rise again.
“We’re constantly reminded that oil is an international commodity, priced in ways that may make no sense here in Idaho,” said Dave Carlson, AAA Idaho spokesman. “Motorists are also influenced by regional supply fluctuations that they have no potential to influence.”
AAA’s daily fuel gage report from around the state showed these pump prices in Idaho today: Idaho Falls, $3.63; Pocatello, $3.70; Coeur d’Alene, $3.62; Lewiston, $3.65; Boise, $3.80; Nampa, $3.82; and Twin Falls, $3.76.
Nationwide, the most expensive gas was in Hawaii at $4.30 a gallon, followed by Alaska, $4.04; and California, $3.98.
Gas prices across the nation have just posted their biggest one-week decline since 2008, AAA Idaho reports, but Idaho hasn't yet felt it. In the Gem State, gas prices are averaging $3.82 a gallon, 19 cents higher than the U.S. average and down just a penny in the last week. The national average dropped 13 cents in the last week to $3.63 a gallon.
AAA predicts that national average gas prices will fall to between $3.40 and $3.65 by Election Day - just two weeks away - and down to $3.25 to $3.40 by Thanksgiving. But in Idaho? "We don't know," said Dave Carlson, director of public and government affairs. "I would think it's safe to say that we should see some decline in prices." You can read AAA's full news release here.
Idaho's gas prices have jumped 5.5 cents a gallon in the past week, AAA Idaho reports, pushing the state's average price up to $3.855, a penny higher than the national average of $3.843. A month ago, Idaho's average price for a gallon of regular gasoline was 12 cents below the national average; since then, it's risen 28 cents a gallon.
Still, AAA Idaho notes it could be worse: Nine states currently have average prices above $4 a gallon, including Oregon at $4.04 and Washington at $4.06.
As gas prices shoot up dramatically across the nation, Idaho's escaped much of the latest jump, AAA Idaho reports, with Idaho's average gas price now sitting at $3.59 per gallon. That's 11 cents less than the national average, and 40 cents below the West Coast average. The national average has shot up seven cents in the past week and 30 cents in the past month, amid various domestic supply and distribution issues and an uptick in oil prices. The problems have included a Richmond, Calif. oil refinery fire that particularly impacted California and other West Coast states. California's average gas price is now $4.10; Oregon is at $3.89 - up 21 cents in the past week - and Washington is also at $3.89.
Dave Carlson, AAA spokesman, said Idaho still could see some impact. "How high gas prices will move on the West Coast depends on how quickly the Richmond refinery is operating and how much of the slack caused by the fire there can be picked up by regional refineries," he said. "Whether Idaho prices will be similarly affected will depend on whether gasoline intended for this market is diverted elsewhere." You can read more here.
AAA is predicting more holiday travelers covering more miles over the July 4 holiday this year, with a jump big enough to tie the past decade's high mark, set in 2007 prior to the recession. "We view the projected increase in travel as a positive signal, even though it's surrounded by a mixed bag of economic drivers," said Dave Carlson, AAA Idaho public affairs director. Factors pushing toward more travelers include the holiday falling in the middle of the week, which likely will prompt more travelers to make longer trips and extend their holidays. A survey by AAA found that 54 percent of those planning to travel for the holiday will begin their trip prior to the start of the work week that includes the Wednesday holiday.
The motorists' group also cited stable airfares and declining gas prices nationwide, though Idaho's average gas price is now six cents a gallon higher than it was a year ago; the U.S. average gas price is 15 cents per gallon lower than it was a year ago. Idaho now has the sixth highest average gas price of any U.S. state. Though more travelers are expected to travel farther this year, they're also expected to spend less each; median spending is expected to be down 7 percent from last year.
Washington and other West Coast states have the highest gas prices in the nation – in some case 50 cents higher than the national average.
In the Spokane area, average prices remain below $4 a gallon, according to AAA’s Daily Fuel Guage Report.
On the state’s west side, average prices for a gallon of regular gasoline are $4.25 in the Seattle-Bellevue-Everett market, $4.26 in Tacoma and $4.34 in Bellingham, AAA reports.
Statewide the average is $4.21, up 13 cents since last week. Meanwhile, the national average price dropped 5 cents to $3.73.
“The West Coast is zigging while the rest of the country is zagging,” said Tom Kloza, publisher and chief oil analyst at the Oil Price Information Service.
A shortage of gasoline tied to issues at the region’s refineries has caused prices to spike in the wholesale market, analysts said.
The AAA auto club reports the average price of a gallon of gas in Washington is $3.98. That’s up 4 cents in a week and 46 cents in a month. It’s 18 cents higher than the national average.
Some metro prices from the AAA’s Monday survey: Bellingham $4.08, Bremerton $3.98, Seattle-Bellevue-Everett $4.05, Tacoma $4.02, Olympia $4.03, Vancouver $4.02, Yakima $3.83, Tri-Cities $3.76, and Spokane $3.67.
While gas prices in Idaho are considerably higher than they were a year ago, AAA Idaho says they're down from the level of a month ago, and nationwide, 4 percent more Americans are expected to travel for the Thanksgiving holiday. The auto owners group reports that today's average gas price in Idaho is $3.46 per gallon, 52 cents higher than a year ago, but 15 cents less than a month ago. The national average gas price is $3.34, down 12 cents from last month's average of $3.46.
AAA is also advising motorists to check road conditions before they head out for the holiday, either by dialing 511 or going to www.511.idaho.gov.
Gas prices have jumped by 18 cents, the second-largest one-week increase since 1990, the AAA reports, second only to the September 2005 spike after Hurricane Katrina. The rise pushed the average U.S. gas price to $3.47 per gallon, and the Idaho average to $3.28 a gallon, AAA said; you can see their latest gas prices report here, including price comparisons in six Idaho communities.
Many people collect travel sized toiletries when they stay in hotels and after a while the tiny bottles of shampoo and conditioner can really stack up. AAA Washington is offering to take them off your hands during their annual Soap for Hope drive. They will take such items year-round but are currently in the middle of a push that ends Dec. 10 to let people know where to donate. Needed items include toothpaste, lotion, floss, razors, hair spray, deoderant and soap. All containers must be unused and unopened. You can drop off donations at the AAA Spokane Valley office at 13817 E. Sprague (near Evergreen). They will bring the donations to Hope House of Spokane, a shelter for women.
Idaho’s average gas price is now $2.99 per gallon, up four cents in the past three weeks and 31 cents above the national average of $2.68, according to AAA of Idaho. But the AAA is forecasting a 10 percent increase in auto travel over the Labor Day holiday weekend in Idaho and the region, compared to last year, despite the pricier gas. “We do not expect Idaho’s higher gas prices will have any sizable impact on travel intentions, though the final tally may have more to say on that topic,” said Dave Carlson, director of public and government affairs for AAA Idaho.
The group’s daily fuel gauge report showed that Idaho’s average gas price ties for the fifth-most expensive gas in the country, behind only Alaska, $3.51 per gallon; Hawaii, $3.47; California, $3.08; and Washington, $3.06. Idaho tied with Oregon, but Oregon doesn’t have self-serve gas, requiring motorists to let an attendant pump their gas for them.
AAA said Idaho’s average price has been more than 20 cents higher than the national average gas price for the past five months. “Market factors can influence prices from region to region and even locally, but it’s difficult to comprehend what’s driving this year’s high pump prices in Idaho,” Carlson said. Click here to read AAA’s full statement.
AAA says 30 states have now banned texting while driving, with the recent addition of Delaware, and the auto association says it’s Idaho’s turn to act. “Thirty states have shown there is legislative and public momentum to address texting in the larger framework of distracted driving. Twenty-four of these laws have been enacted in just the past two years,” said Jim Carlson, director of public and government affairs for AAA Idaho. “A year ago, AAA pledged its support to enact texting bans in all 50 states by the year 2013. AAA believes it’s Idaho’s turn to act on this issue.” You can read the AAA’s full statement here.
Idaho’s gas prices are at least 20 cents per gallon above the national average, and they’ve been that way for most of the spring, the AAA says, mainly because Utah refineries aren’t producing enough to meet demand. AAA tells the Idaho Statesman prices likely will fall in the next month./Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise
Question: Will you drive anywhere for the holiday weekend, despite gas prices?
Here’s a news item from The Associated Press: BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The spokesman for AAA Idaho says the reason a gallon of gas in the state has been at least 20 cents higher than the national average for most of the spring is because refineries in Utah aren’t producing enough to meet demand in the two states. Dave Carlson says lawmakers in Utah should ask refineries why more isn’t being produced. AAA reports that the national average cost for a gallon of regular gasoline on Friday was $2.749. The cost in Idaho is $3.023, and in Utah $3.055. Carlson told the Idaho Statesman that Idaho is an isolated market and that’s part of the reason for the higher prices. He predicts gas prices will fall in the next 30 days.
The Idaho AAA says gas prices in Idaho are now the ninth highest in the nation and they’re “refusing to budge,” even as prices are falling in other states. “The peak driving season is over and prices in the rest of the country have dropped from their seasonal highs in most regions of the country, but not here,” said AAA Idaho Public Affairs Director Dave Carlson. Idaho’s average price for regular gas is now $2.71, AAA reported, within a penny of its level for the past month. Nationwide, national average gas prices have dropped 14 cents in the past month to $2.53. Things are even worse up north, AAA noted, with gas in Sandpoint and Lewiston at $2.83 and Coeur d’Alene at $2.75. Click “continue reading” below to read AAA’s full press release.