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On an annual average basis, the price Idahoans paid for gasoline in 2011 was higher than any prior year, even surpassing the watershed year of 2008 when the Gem State averaged $3.29 a gallon and set a record daily price of $4.16.
Idaho's average annual price was $3.49 last year. That mark is 54 cents higher than the 2010 average and 20 cents higher than the previous record mark of $3.29, set in 2008. In addition, 2011 was a strange year as Idaho's monthly average prices ranged as much as 20 cents lower than the national mark in February to 23 cents more than the national monthly average in October.
Today's gas prices in Blackfoot range from $2.91 to $2.99.
Factors similar to those that pushed oil prices higher in 2011 will stick around for another year: brisk demand growth from emerging economies, robust export demand and potential supply disruptions in the Middle East. On the other hand, continued sluggish demand for gasoline in the U.S. could mean pump prices will be erratic.