Gasoline prices dropped in California and the rest of the nation during the last week, but the post-summer swoon is falling well short of average as motorists continue to pay some of the highest prices on record for this time of year.
Autumn is usually a time of significant price relief, a time when supplies are plentiful and post-summer driving is mostly confined to commutes, errands and short trips. But even though the price of a gallon of regular gasoline in California fell for the fourth straight week, the declines are coming off the worst summer in three years for fuel prices. And prices fell a lot faster after summer 2008.
In California, the average price for a gallon of regular gasoline fell 5.2 cents over the last week to $3.835, according to the Energy Department's weekly survey of service stations, released Monday. That easily broke California's record for this week, which was $3.601 a gallon set in October 2008.
The national average also has fallen for four straight weeks and was down 7.6 cents in the most recent week to $3.433 a gallon. The U.S. average for this week was higher only once, when it stood at $3.484 a gallon, also in October 2008.