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Freezing conditions cause gas prices to spike, not so much in Idaho

According to AAA, Idaho and the Rocky Mountain region now have some of the least-expensive fuel in the U.S.
Gas Pump

BOISE, Idaho — Prices at the gas pump continue to rise, but not as much in Idaho and the Rocky Mountain region.

According to AAA, recent winter storms forced the shutdown of refineries across the Gulf Coast and Midwest, triggering a double-digit spike in gas prices for around two-thirds of the U.S.

The good news is the Gem State is among the least affected by freezing conditions that swept the country. 

The Rocky Mountain region, which includes Idaho, has been mostly insulated from the effects of the freeze.  Idaho currently ranks 36th in the country for most-expensive fuel, well below the usual ranking in the 7th to 9th-place range. 

Some neighboring states have fared even better, such as Wyoming (39th place), Montana (42nd place), and Utah (45th place). Even so, everything is relative, because gas prices are still rising everywhere based on the higher cost of crude oil.

"Idaho drivers have had to deal with a 20-cent price increase in the span of a month, but some drivers in other parts of the country have seen prices jump that high just in the last week," says AAA Idaho spokesman Matthew Conde. "But as conditions improve, the Midwest and Rocky Mountain regions could easily trade places in the rankings in the coming weeks."

The average price for a gallon of regular gasoline in Idaho went up five cents to $2.49 this week. That's 19 cents more than a month ago and just three cents less than a year ago. 

The national average jumped 13 cents in the last week to $2.64, which is 24 cents more than a month ago and 17 cents more than a year ago. 

The top three largest weekly increases were in Ohio (+22 cents), Arizona (+21 cents), and Iowa (+19 cents).

Drivers can use the AAA Fuel Price Finder to compare the latest fuel prices at more than 100,000 stations in the U.S.

Here's a selection of Idaho gas prices as of Feb. 22:

Boise - $2.58
Coeur d'Alene - $2.42
Franklin - $2.31
Idaho Falls - $2.34
Lewiston - $2.55
Pocatello - $2.35
Twin Falls - $2.44