Fact Check: White House Falsely Claims Americans Paying Less for Gas than Average During Last 15 Years

AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar
AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar

CLAIM: White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki claimed Americans were “paying about the same for gas” under President Joe Biden as they were during former President Donald Trump’s administration in 2018 and 2019. The White House also claimed Americans are “paying less in real terms for gas than they have on average over the last 15 years.”

VERDICT: MOSTLY FALSE. A look at the data shows the White House is struggling with the numbers, using inflationary clarifiers such as “less in real terms” to fudge the numbers.

A look at average price data shows gas prices since 2006 (15 years ago) averaged 2.813. The cost of gas is up 7.3 percent from the average

Gas prices since 1991 averaged 2.082, so the current cost of gas is up 45 percent.

Psaki’s talking point about the current cost of gas being “about the same” as 2018 in 2019 is close, but still four or five cents above what the cost of gas was during the Trump era.

According to the St. Louis Fed here are the prices for gas on recent Memorial Days.

Memorial Day Gas Prices Under Trump

2017: $2.406
2018: $2.962
2019: $2.822
2020: $1.960

Under Biden

2021: $3.044

Psaki blamed “global forces” and the rapidly growing economy for rising prices and promised to continue monitoring prices in the future.

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