Valley residents keep buying gas even if prices are exceptionally high

LEWISTON, ID - Gas prices in the region are still exceptionally high, even though the state of Idaho sits below the national average.

Despite the state's numbers, the city of Lewiston is only six cents behind what the average American is paying at the pump around the country.

Throughout the nation, the average driver is paying $3.71 a gallon for gas. Idahoans are paying about 10 cents less, averaging $3.61 a gallon, which has some local drivers very happy to be paying less.

"I think that's wonderful, that's why I live here, I enjoy Idaho," said Idaho enthusiast Vera Hansen.

Gas stations around the L.C. Valley are as high as $3.64 a gallon. However, that doesn't seem to discourage valley residents from making their purchases.

"Times are pretty tough for everybody right now, but I've found that if I buy better quality gas, I get better gas mileage," said gas price critic. "It doesn't matter how high it gets, we're going to have to pay it if we want to enjoy our toys and get to work."

"They're going up, but we have good fuel so people keep coming in and buying it," said Dyna-Mart Chevron Assistant Manager Sarah Schell. "So I don't think it really matters on the price as long as they're getting good fuel."

Idahoans going to the pump have seen prices increase roughly three cents in the last week, seven cents total in the last month.

"Is there ever going to be an end," said Hansen. "With me probably so, but for other I don't know."

Pump prices continue their upward climb throughout the West Coast after a Chevron refinery in Richmond California caught fire. The 245,000 barrel per day refinery supplied an estimated 15% of California's gasoline demand, boosting prices in the region by nearly 21 cents a gallon.

"We've actually been pretty safe here in the mountain region," said Idaho Triple AAA Director of Public and Governmental Affairs Dave Carlson. "However, whether Idaho's prices will be similarly effected as they were on the West Coast, really depends on if gasoline intended for this marketplace is diverted elsewhere."

"Hopefully they'll go down, because we have to have gas," said gas buyer. "You can't fly or walk or run."

At this time last year, the national average price per gallon was $3.67, four cents higher than today's current national average. And prices are higher across the border in Washington due to different fuel taxes.