The average price of gasoline in the Dayt0n-Springfield area has risen more than 50 cents a gallon in the past month and shows little sign of topping out soon.
Area drivers paid an average $3.61 a gallon Thursday for regular-grade gas, according to DaytonGasPrices.com, a website that uses spotters to track gas prices. That compares with a national average of $3.52 on Thursday and an area average of $3.08 a gallon a month ago.
Springfield stations monitored by DaytonGasPrices.com were charging between $3.51 and $3.69 a gallon early Thursday afternoon. Diesel fuel was selling locally for between $3.99 and $4.19 a gallon.
“Nothing we can do about it,” Keith Bowen, of Springfield, said Thursday while at the North Limestone Street Speedway. “We’re at their mercy. Who knows what causes it. Usually, the oil companies have an excuse.”
On Wednesday, the nationwide average price for a gallon of gas rose for the 20th straight day to $3.55, jumping 18 cents in just eight days to a level not seen since late October.
A number of factors are at play: Higher crude oil prices, slowing output at refineries that are undergoing maintenance, and low supplies of gasoline.
AAA said last week gas prices are expected to rise steadily as many refineries temporarily close for scheduled turnaround maintenance and as the industry begins the process of switching over to summer blends of gasoline.
The Midwest will see an earlier move to low vapor pressure gasoline this year when compared with last year, AAA said.