California motorists saw a steep drop in pump prices over the last week, but it wasn't enough to end a long run of record seasonal pain from fuel costs.
The average price of a gallon of regular gasoline in California fell 15.7 cents to $3.498, according to the Energy Department's weekly survey of service stations released Monday. But that was still 24.8 cents a gallon higher than a year earlier and 6.9 cents above the old record for this week set in 2007.
Nationally, price increases on the East Coast and Midwest blunted the large decline in the West. The U.S. average fell 1.6 cents from the previous week to $3.274, the Energy Department said. That was 29.4 cents a gallon higher than at this time last year and 27.4 cents a gallon above the old record for this week, which was also set in 2007.
In other energy news, oil prices fell slightly as the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries opened a new round of talks in Vienna on production quotas.