WASHINGTON, D.C. --- For the 11th consecutive week, the U.S. average retail price for regular gasoline increased to another record high, this time exceeding $4 a gallon for the first time, the Energy Department reported last week.

The price rose 6.3 cents to $4.039 per gallon, 96.3 cents higher than last year at this time, the department's Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported. The average for the East Coast went up by 4.9 cents to reach $4.019 per gallon. Prices in New England and the Central Atlantic increased even more, hitting $4.089 and $4.058 per gallon, respectively.

The average price in the Midwest increased by 3.0 cents to $3.982 per gallon. The Gulf Coast price remained the lowest of any region but increased by 6.3 cents to $3.909 per gallon, the EIA reported. The price in the Rocky Mountain region gained 5.1 cents to $3.941 per gallon. The West Coast price soared 15.9 cents to $4.325 per gallon. Once again, the average price in California went up even more, surging 19.1 cents from the previous week to hit $4.433 per gallon.

The national average price of diesel fuel dropped for the second week in a row, and once again the decline was small, just 1.5 cents. The average diesel price slipped to $4.692 per gallon, $1.90 above a year ago, the EIA said.

Diesel prices dropped in most regions of the country. The average price on the East Coast fell 1.6 cents to $4.743 per gallon. The lowest regional price for diesel occurred in the Midwest, where the price slipped 2.8 cents to $4.615 per gallon. The average diesel price in the Gulf Coast was $4.658 per gallon, a drop of just six-tenths of a cent.

For the second straight week, contrary to the rest of the country, the diesel price in the Rocky Mountains went up, increasing by 1.8 cents to $4.698 per gallon. On the West Coast, the average diesel price dipped by 0.4 cent to $4.874 per gallon. In California, the average price dropped 3.5 cents to slip below $5 for the first time since May 19. Nonetheless, at $4.992 per gallon, the price was still $1.995 above a year ago.