As the cold weather of winter approaches, fuel prices are starting to rise. A report from the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship says heating fuel prices are nudging up while crude oil prices are rising more quickly. Gasoline prices are also climbing.

Triple-A spokesman Tom Crosby says the financial situation overseas is continuing to have an impact on gasoline prices in the U.S. “The problem is, there’s a fear of a worldwide recession,” Crosby says. “As those fears recede with the European settlement of their financial problems, the price of oil is going to increase.”

Crude oil prices have risen for two straight weeks and Crosby says indications are, they may continue rising. Crosby says, “As we in the United States face a continuing recession or a return to what it was two years ago, the dollar is weak and that just pushes the price of crude up.” Gas prices in Iowa are averaging $3.44 a gallon. That’s two-cents lower than the national average. A year ago, the state’s average price for gas was $2.77.

The state’s all-time high for an average gas price was $4.02 a gallon in July of 2008.