Fact Check

Government Opening Free Gas Stations in Poor Neighborhoods

Is the U.S. government opening gas stations to distribute free gasoline in poor neighborhoods?

Published Oct. 31, 2013


Claim:   The U.S. government is opening gas stations to distribute free gasoline in poor neighborhoods.


Example:   [Collected via e-mail, June 2014]

First it was free Obama Phones in the 2012 Elections ... this year it's free Obama Automobile Gas for the Mid-Term Elections:

Government Opening Free Gas Stations in Poor Neighborhoods


Origins:   On 29 October 2013, the Daily Currant published an article positing that the Obama administration was using a little-known provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (commonly known as "Obamacare") to have the federal government open a network of gas stations to provide free gasoline to residents of poor neighborhoods:

As the battle over Obamacare rages in Washington, the White House is quietly using a little known provision of the law to roll out a nationwide network of free gas stations for minorities and the poor.

According to a report in The Detroit News this morning, the administration is using its authority under the Affordable Care Act to "improve transportation routes to hospitals" to dispense gasoline free of cost in disadvantaged neighborhoods.

The $2 billion-a-year program aims to distribute 40 million gallons of free gasoline each year through 70 new gas stations constructed in major metropolitan areas. The Department of Health and Human Services (DHS) will be responsible for operating the network, whose first station opened yesterday in Detroit.

By the end of the day links and excerpts referencing this article were being circulated via social media, with many of those who encountered it mistaking it for a genuine news item. However, the article was just a bit of political humor from the Daily Currant spoofing the subjects of Obamacare and government benefits.

As noted in the Daily Currant's "About" page, that web site deals strictly in satire:

The Daily Currant is an English language online satirical newspaper that covers global politics, business, technology, entertainment, science, health and media.

Q. Are your news stories real?

A. No. Our stories are purely fictional. However they are meant to address real-world issues through satire and often refer and link to real events happening in the world.

Last updated:   5 June 2014

David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.

Article Tags