BOISE— All around the Northwest gas prices are increasing, but Idaho is currently sitting below the national average for a gallon of gasoline.
According to AAA, the national average sits at $3.53 a gallon while the average gallon of gas in Idaho sits at $3.16 a gallon.
Charley Jones with the Stinker gas station chain said Tuesday, Idaho is looking better than most states in the west because the refinery capacity coming from a pipeline in Salt Lake City is good.
Jones operates over 60 gas stations in Idaho and said February is usually the month with the lowest gas prices, but if prices are already increasing, consumers will be bracing for even higher prices come summer.
Money is tight for many Idaho families. When someone is forced to pay even more for gas, making a budget last is difficult.
Patrick Eusipi is a college student with little money to spare.
“Sometimes I am low on money. I can just feel the money slipping away out of my hand,” said Eusipi.
Eusipi was seen filling up his car Tuesday at a gas station located on Overland Road. He said gas prices are manageable for now.
“Gas is gas; I mean it's a necessity right now. I hope that someday we can get off of it but it just seems like a national drug to me,” he said.
However, Eusipi said if gas prices continue to rise, he will have to start shopping around town to locate the cheapest gas.
Idaho gas retailers like Jones purchase gasoline daily and each day prices change. If they want to make a profit, they must stay competitive.
Brooke Mooney is afraid the gasoline price increase is arriving too soon.
“I hear the summer is going to be really high so I am worried about that,” said Mooney. “Typically I put two to maybe five dollars in the car because it's all I can afford.”
With summer still months away, consumers say if gas prices are anything like they were in 2008, seasonal trips and vacations would have to be cut out.
Larry Carpenter and his family take a few trips to Nebraska each year to visit family. He said if prices soar plans will change, “I will stay home.”
Gas prices are different across the board in Idaho, according to the gas price tracking website www.gasbuddy.com the highest gas in the state can be found in Hailey at $3.49 a gallon. The lowest can be found in Pocatello at $2.96 a gallon.