Friday, September 25, 2009

Fuel Prices

Spud harvest near Murtaugh, Idaho-Putnam photo
Gas Prices Still High-- During Peak Harvest Season

BOISE — Just three weeks after the labor day holiday, Idaho gas prices are still sky-high. "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," AAA Idaho Public Affairs Director Dave Carlson said in a news release Thursday.

According to AAA's Daily Fuel Gauge Report, Idaho's average $2.71 price for regular grade gasoline hasn't moved more than a penny in the past month. During that same time, the national average price has dropped 14 cents to $2.53, Carlson said.

Western prices are higher than anywhere in the nation and Idaho is one of nine states where gasoline is prices are $2.70 a gallon. Six of those states, California, $3.14; Washington, $2.97; Oregon, $2.87, Nevada, $2.80, Montana, $2.74; and Idaho, $2.71, are in the West.

The AAA economists say traditional supply-and-demand dynamics are not the only factors affecting gas prices. This summer, increased money flow into commodities markets, or speculative investment, has served as the primary driver of oil prices, Carlson explained. But oil prices, which generally run a parallel course with what happens at the pump, continue to rise and fall on mixed economic news Thursday, oil prices took another dive, the second in two days, on news that supplies are up.

Demand's also down and thats worrisome to investors. AAA said the result is that oil prices are trading in the $66 range, some $6 below where they were a week ago. "We don't believe demand alone would explain why prices are so high in this region," Carlson said.

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