All over the country, people are experiencing gas prices drop to levels that we haven’t seen since February 2015.  This week, the average price of gas in the United States is $2.07 per gallon.  In a normal year, gas prices start to increase in March as people start to drive more and reach their peak during the summer when we’re out visiting friends and family, taking those trips to theme parks or driving into the mountains for total isolation from technology.

This year, because of the Coronavirus outbreak, people are staying home more.  Driving is being limited to the grocery store, after school activities aren’t happening and more people are working from home bringing down the overall demand for gas.  Worldwide, America is the biggest user of gas and the country that comes in second place is China.  The same types of restrictions that we are just starting to see here, they’ve been seeing for about five months.  With the two top purchasers of oil spending a lot less, oil producers are sitting on a lot of product.

Saudi Arabia and Russia considered cutting back oil production but ultimately could not agree on how much and for how long, causing a price war like we haven’t seen since 1991.  If this continues, we should see the prices reach their lowest point sometime in May.

My question is what does this mean for us in Boise?  While the state of Idaho typically ranks in the top 10 for highest gas prices along with other places in the Rocky Mountain region, Boise seems to be even higher.  I understand that we are an isolated city and that we’re not exactly on the way to other major cities, but gas prices are nearly fifty cents above the national average.  The Idaho gas tax is 33 cents per gallon, which is pretty average.  We’ve had times where gas prices seemed higher than the national average before, but over the past two years, none quite to this extreme.

According to GasBuddy.com, the lowest gas price in Boise is at the Maverick at Fairview and Five Mile Road.  Proving that this is a Boise issue and not an Idaho issue, the lowest price in the state is at the Costco in Coeur d’Alene at $1.99, followed by the Sam’s Club in Idaho Falls at $2.12.

What is it that I don’t understand?  Can someone explain to me why the gas is so much more expensive in the Treasure Valley?  Why are gas prices staying flat in Boise, while the rest of the country is seeing such a drop in price?