Fact Check

Biden Falsely Claims Gas Prices Were 'Over $5' When He Took Office

Biden made the remarks in Syracuse as part of highlighting an investment made by the U.S.-based company Micron.

Published Oct 31, 2022

US President Joe Biden speaks on manufacturing at the SRC Arena and Events Center of Onondaga Community College in Syracuse, New York on October 27, 2022. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP) (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images) (MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)
Image Via MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images
Claim:
The most common price of U.S. gas was above $5 per gallon when U.S. President Joe Biden took office in January 2021.

On Oct. 27, 2022, U.S. President Joe Biden falsely claimed that the most common price of U.S. gas was "over $5" per gallon when he took office on Jan. 20, 2021. While speaking in Syracuse, New York, Biden said, "Today, the most common price of gas in America is $3.39, down from over $5 when I took office."

According to The Associated Press, Biden was speaking in Syracuse to "showcase a significant investment by the U.S.-based company Micron, one of the largest microchip manufacturers in the world."

Townhall.com tweeted a video of the moment in question:

Here's a little bit more from Biden's remarks that we transcribed from a full recording of the speech. The moment in question occurred at the 22:23 mark in this video that was posted on the NBC News YouTube channel:

And because of the actions we've taken, gas prices are declining. We're down $1.25 since the peak of this summer, and they've been falling for the last three weeks as well, adding up real savings for families. Today, the most common price of gas in America is $3.39, down from over $5 when I took office. We need to keep making that progress by having energy companies bring down the cost of a gallon of gas that reflects the cost they're paying for a barrel of oil.

It was true that the national average for U.S. gas prices dropped by about $1.25 from between June and October 2022. However, again, the most common price of U.S. gas was not "over $5" when Biden took office.

Patrick De Haan, the head of petroleum analysis with GasBuddy.com, told CNN that $2.39 was both the most common price of gas and the average price of gas on Biden's first day. We reached out to De Haan and independently confirmed that this was true. (The most common price of gas is a different statistic than the average price.)

De Haan also told us that the most common price of gas was $3.39 on the day Biden spoke, which meant that Biden was correct about one of his figures. As for the average price, on Oct. 22, three days before Biden spoke in Syracuse, The Associated Press reported that "the national average price for a gallon of regular gasoline was $3.82." Similarly, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported a price of $3.87 on Oct. 17 and $3.77 on Oct. 24.

For further study, our readers previously asked us if several popular tweets were accurate that claimed gas prices dropped to below $2 when Trump was president.

Note: USA Today previously published, "Experts say presidents have little control over gas and diesel prices."

Sources:

Biden Delivers Remarks On Micron's Plan To Invest In CHIPS Manufacturing. NBC News via YouTube, 2022, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JBvPOTQAJ9s.

"Gas Prices Decline across Nation, Remain Unchanged in NJ." The Associated Press, 22 Oct. 2022, https://apnews.com/article/new-jersey-business-6dd2f1b5de35361ffae240a54b1cc2aa.

Kim, Seung Min. "Biden Zeroes in on Economic Message as Campaign Winds Down." The Associated Press, 27 Oct. 2022, https://apnews.com/article/2022-midterm-elections-inflation-biden-new-york-0ce9df94ad312462eecb793f54c2bbbd.

Lenard, Jeff. "Does the President Control Gas Prices?" Advancing Convenience & Fuel Retailing, 3 Feb. 2021, https://www.convenience.org/Media/conveniencecorner/Does-the-President-Control-Gas-Prices.

Sadeghi, McKenzie. "Fact Check: Viral Image Does Not Show Gas Prices the Day Biden Took Office." USA Today, 15 Oct. 2021, https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2021/10/15/fact-check-regular-gas-not-below-2-day-biden-took-office/6088322001/.

@townhallcom. Twitter, 27 Oct. 2022, https://twitter.com/townhallcom/.

"Weekly U.S. Regular All Formulations Retail Gasoline Prices." U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), https://www.eia.gov/.

Updates

On Oct. 31, 2022, we updated this story to differentiate between the most common price of gas and the average price. Additional data was also added after it was provided by a spokesperson for GasBuddy.com.

Jordan Liles is a Snopes reporter with expertise in investigating misinformation, inauthentic social media activity, and scams.

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