Gasoline fell below $4 a gallon this weekend in Santa Rosa, continuing a slide that is easing motorists' pain at the pump.

The AAA Fuel Gauge Report said a gallon of regular was $3.99 on average, and it wasn't hard to find it for as much as 14 cents less in Santa Rosa and nearby cities, according to

The last time gas was less than $4 in Santa Rosa was Feb. 19.

Five Santa Rosa stations were pumping regular for $3.85, and 16 more had prices lower than $3.99, the website said.

Three stations in Healdsburg were at $3.75.

The $3.99 price cited by AAA was down more than 13 cents from a week ago and almost 35 cents lower than a month ago. A year ago, gas was just 4 cents a gallon cheaper in Santa Rosa.

The California Energy Commission, which reports gas prices once a week based on a survey of 38 stations, had Monday's statewide price at $4.03.

Gas had cost more than $4 a gallon since late February, according to the commission.

With the beginning of summer just a day away, motorists may continue to catch a break, as crude oil prices continue to drop.

Oil fell 76 cents Monday to finish at $83.27 at the New York Mercantile Exchange. Ten days ago, oil closed at $84.10, near its lowest level since October.

Experts said the trend was because of Europe's economic crisis, with expectations that oil demand will decline there and in the U.S. and China as well.

"Oil is really reflecting concern about where the economy is headed in coming months," said Gene McGillian, a broker and oil analyst at Tradition Energy.

But Californians continue to pay a premium for gas, with the state average at $3.99 on Monday, nearly 50 cents more than the national average, according to AAA. Californians typically pay 20 to 40 cents more than the national average.

This report includes information from Associated Press. You can reach Staff Writer Guy Kovner at 521-5457 or