The average price for gasoline nationwide is at $3.50 a gallon for the first time this summer after a sharp run-up in July.
The price of gas rose 17 cents a gallon, or 5.1 percent, last month. The monthly increase was the first since March. The nationwide average was last at $3.50 a gallon on June 19.
In the Toledo area, the average price Tuesday was $3.67 a gallon, up about 12 cents from Monday and 22 cents from a week earlier, according to gasbuddy.com, which can be found at toledoblade.com/gas. In June, the average price in Toledo was $3.13.
Drivers had a long stretch of declining prices at the pump as oil fell from more than $100 a barrel in March to less than $78 by late June. The average price at the pump fell by 60 cents a gallon in about three months.
But oil rose 13 percent from its June low on renewed concerns of supply disruptions in the Middle East and the usual increase in demand in the warmer months. Oil ended July at $88.05 a barrel.
The rising cost of ethanol also boosted gas prices, AAA said. Ethanol prices have jumped because of record high corn prices. Most fuel sold for passenger cars and pickups today is 10 percent ethanol and 90 percent gasoline.
AAA predicted that gas prices will stay flat or climb slightly in August and then fall when the summer driving season comes to a close after Labor Day. The highest national average price for gas this year was $3.936 a gallon on April 6, when oil topped $100 a barrel.