Photos: Obama Critics Offer Cheap Gas on the Pike

by ARLnow.com November 2, 2012 at 5:00 pm 8,382 99 Comments

For just over two hours this morning, regular unleaded gasoline was $1.84 per gallon at the Pentagon Liberty gas station at 2300 Columbia Pike.

The cheap gas was organized by the New American Energy Opportunity Foundation, a group that’s in favor of increased domestic energy production in the U.S. and critical of the Obama administration’s energy policies. Among those on hand for the promotion were former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich (R), who stopped by to lend support, and the “Gas Can Man” a smiling gas can mascot that has been appearing at similar events in Ohio, Virginia and elsewhere.

Organizers say they planned to provide the cheap gas for about 150 motorists between 7:00 and 9:00 this morning. They said drivers started lining up a half hour before the event in order to take advantage of the offer. Some of the drivers, organizers said, asked whether they could still fill up even though they were Obama supporters (yes, they could).

Two Arlington police officers helped direct traffic during the event, preventing drivers on busy Columbia Pike from queuing up for the promotion. Still, traffic on eastbound Columbia Pike was slow as drivers stopped to ask the officers why they weren’t allowed to block the Pike’s right-hand lane in order to wait for one of the pumps to open up.

Signs placed around the station during the event blamed President Obama for higher gas prices.

“No CHANGE to fill my gas tank!” said one.

“Can Obama,” said another.

The $1.84 per gallon price of gas reflects the price just before President Obama’s inauguration in 2009, in the midst of the country’s economic crisis. Organizers said the president’s energy policies have led to an increase in gas prices since he took office.

The price of gas at the Citgo station down the street from the event today was $3.55 per gallon. By comparison, in June 2008 under President George W. Bush, the average price of gas in the U.S. was $4.10 for a gallon of regular unleaded.

Photos by ARLnow.com and courtesy of Scot Crockett, as labeled

  • Neighbor

    I’ll no longer be frequenting this station because of their support of this gimmick. Say goodbye to the $200/mo from my family, guys!

    • Slimy Newt


      And by the way, I love cheap gas and drive everywhere. But except for maybe 1 week in 2008 (after the banks crashed), gas has been way over $2 a gallon since what, 2006?

      • ccres

        last paragraph is the most telling:

        “The price of gas at the Citgo station down the street from the event today was $3.55 per gallon. By comparison, in June 2008 under President George W. Bush, the average price of gas in the U.S. was $4.10 for a gallon of regular unleaded.”

    • Dezlboy

      If they sold diesel fuel, they wouldn’t get any more of my business either. A stunt. That’s all it was. A stunt.

    • Ben

      Rawr – I get panties in a bunch when someone has different views then me. I’m just as bad as the people I point out for being intolerant.

      /Just saying

      • HayyDiosMio

        it’s not a view, it’s a distorted fact. gas was at that price because everything was imploding around us..

        Great you have 1.84 gas but your retirement account now has the same amount too.

        • Ben

          My response was targeted at Neighbor who stated “I’ll no longer be frequenting this station because of their support of this gimmick.”

          • drax

            It’s good that someone is refusing to patronize a business that collaborates with liars who are making our problems worse.

          • Ben

            I guess but I doubt the gas station owner cares much about Newt.

            He just saw a guaranteed stream of income for a few hours.

          • drax

            Well, next time maybe he’ll think twice.

          • Josh S

            Boy, that’s a pretty low opinion you have of the gas station owner.

          • Neighbor

            I am not required to be tolerant of any business that is going to use my money to further the agenda of a political party (and its affiliates) that is at odds with my values. Just like I’ll never buy a car from Rosenthal Automotive because they’re megacontributors to the Republican Party. Businesses are free to make their allegiances known. I am also free to take my business elsewhere.

      • Josh S

        One does not need to be tolerant of everything.

    • agreed.

  • Slimy Newt

    How ironic that a corpulent pseudo-intellectual dinosaur is trying to use discount liquefied dinosaur bones to push a half-truth.

    Go away, Newt.

    • Banksy

      +3 (wives)

      • dk (not DK)


  • Flying Spaghetti Monster

    Cheap stunt.

    • spooner

      cupid stunt

  • Wake up Neighbor

    Hey Neighbor, you know that gas stations don’t profit off the sale of gas much right? It’s sundry sales and car repair that makes them money. You not spending $200/month here will not impact the owner of this station. Not getting your oil changed here will.

    • ccres

      It might, just *MIGHT*, follow that if Neighbor doesn’t get gas there, he/she also won’t solicit other business from that station as well.

      I could be way off.

      • Neighbor

        You are not way off because I very often pop in the store (or used to) for other stuff. I had also used them for minor repairs in the past.

    • PikeHoo

      This gimmick is equivalent to saying “Obama hasn’t even created peace in the Middle East yet.” Talk about blaming something completely out of the President’s control.

  • internet tourettes

    This not a group, it is funded by Sheldon Adelson and is an astroturf organization. Nothing but a political consultant, an email addess, and post office box.

    New American Energy Opportunity Foundation

    Contributor Occupation Date Amount Recipient
    Adelson, Sheldon G
    Las Vegas,NV Las Vegas Sands 10/12/12 $798,385 New American Energy Opportunity Foundation
    Adelson, Sheldon G
    Las Vegas,NV

  • Bender

    By comparison — this is NOVEMBER, not June. Nor are we in a period of a price spike. Rather, by comparison, prices have been over $3.50 for over three years now, frequently topping $4 per gallon.

    By comparison, you are no better than places like MSNBC and other hack organizations that lack objectivity and cannot simply report the news.

    • The comparison was to give an idea of gas prices immediately before the economic crisis. In the beginning of November 2007 the average price of gas was $3.04.


      • drax

        There’s not much connection between gas prices and the economic crisis though.

      • HayyDiosMio

        Uhmm you should of looked for a 2008 article then…

    • Josh S

      There is no such thing as simply reporting the news. All stories include certain facts and leave certain facts out.

      The sort of starting point bias of this entire stunt is that President Obama has direct control over gas prices and can somehow be “blamed” for the fact that average gas prices have risen as they have from one arbitrarily chosen start date to another artbirtrarily chosen end date.

  • Not Bent

    Bender, let me guess, your reliable news source is Fox, because they are the epitome of objectivity? You are so right. We were in a better fiscal situation pre three years ago. Wait, where is your objective data?

    • Sikudhani

      It does seem pretty odd comparing current gas prices to those during the summer.
      The average price of gas November of 2008 was $2.07…


      • Slimy Newt

        Yes, Obama used his magical powers to raise the gas prices! After all, what could be more popular for a sitting president?

        Do you not remember 2005–when for the first time prices went over $2/gallon? And they kept climbing. Was that Bush’s fault?

        • Sikudhani

          Plenty of people pointed the finger at Bush when gas prices went up, but that’s irrelevant; it’s an election year, of course everything is the president’s fault.

          The stance taken by the organization behind this stunt doesn’t seem to be that Obama “got us into this mess” so much as it is that his energy policies aren’t doing enough to improve the situation.
          Conveniently, they’re not required to mention that to get back to pre-Obama gas prices, you must also trudge back through a good portion of Bush’s term… but so goes politics.

          • Josh S

            What does “improve the situation” mean? If you mean “lower gas prices” – since when is this the president’s job? And gosh, if he did, wouldn’t that be a prime example of the government meddling in the “free” market?

        • Patrick

          Are you so frothing with partisan hate you are unable to see the oddity of comparing gas prices in NOVEMBER 2012 with JUNE 2008?

          • drax

            This is stupid. Gas prices go up and down. Presidents don’t control short-term gas prices.

            Let’s look at the long term, adjusted for inflation.


          • Sikudhani

            It IS extremely stupid; I commend you for presenting some delicious facts.

            However, depending on the time of year, one’s political leanings and the direction of the wind, people have blamed Bush for high gas prices and people have blamed Obama for high gas prices.
            I’m pretty sure some folks have even been burned alive, in a giant wicker man, in the hopes that the world’s oil wells be more fruitful in the coming years.

            The only matter I was commenting on was Arlnow’s presentation of current gas prices vs. gas prices as seen under the Bush administration during the summer months (when they have been known to spike).
            It makes it seem as though they have as much of an agenda as the goobers they wrote the article about.

          • drax

            You’re right – and I was responding to Patrick, not you.

            But I hope I’ve put and end to all this short-term thinking. (I know, I’m kidding myself).

      • Arl forest

        Gas prices were down this summer, so not sure that helps or hurts whatever argument you are trying to make…but I agree, to the extent their is seasonality in gas prices, you should compare apples to apples

        What is such a joke argument by such an “economist” like newt is that he completely forgets about the demand side of supply and demand

        He may want to remember where we were as a global economy in jan 09….i am trying hard to remember who controlled the WH the previous 8 years

        I am also trying to remember the record profits of the oil companies when gas prices were over 4 bucks a gallon prior to jan 09

      • HayyDiosMio

        yes and that’s how much your stock, pension, retirement and profit from the sale of your home (if you’re lucky) would of been as well…

        • You’re welcome

          would *have* been

  • Dezlboy

    Face it. The President has very little to none control over the price of oil and gasoline. And, the oil companies are raking in millions of dollars in profit. So, who is the bad guy in all this?

  • solace

    Perhaps, if we let gas prices spike it will force us to innovate and once and for all leave the late 19th century behind.

    Not conspiracy, just wishful thinking.

    • drax

      Nah, lets keep putting it off and then panic! It’ll be like NYC after Sandy, only for everyone, all the time!

  • OldYeller

    I think the most likely result of a Romney presidency wouldn’t be the cheap gas you saw today, it would more likely be the lines that were forming to buy gas.

    • Tabby_TwoTone


      • gordon bennet

        Gordon Bennet!

  • Ziv

    What was the average price of gas during George W Bush time in office? $2? What was the average price of gas during Obama’s time in office? $3.50?
    What was the average unemployment rate during George W Bush 8 years in office? 5.5%? What was the average unemployment rate for the 4 years Obama has been in office? 7.9%? Is it getting any better?
    If this is an Obama recovery, what will the inevitable recession be like? Because this is as good as it gets with Obama.
    Obama inherited a downturn but his policies managed to turn it into ‘the new normal’ where expectations are always getting worse. He may have come into office when the economy was seemingly going into a ditch, but his policies have pushed us out of the ditch and over a cliff.

    • Arl forest

      I hope this Is a joke

      Bush’s avg was over 4 …I think you may be thinking of Clinton

      And in jan 09 the unemployment rate was 7.8 and rising dramatically…we are now at 7.9

    • cause

      Ha! Ziv, ending responses with a question mark doesn’t make them true:

      What was the average price of a steak dinner when Clinton was president? Twelve cents?

    • Josh S

      You have a dangerous degree of belief in the ability of the president to impact the nation’s unemployment rate and the price of certain commodities in an immediate and clearly discernable way. I would submit to you that the world is actually way more complicated.

    • drax
  • WolfMan

    His coat is draped like a cape and it appears some blood from his fangs has dribbled onto his tie.

  • sam the cat

    I only purchase the fuel that is the most expensive because it’s obviously ‘better’.

  • jackon

    And Newt probably made more to “pump gas” in those two hours than that station makes in a month.

  • Garrulous

    The President doesn’t control the price of gas, as someone earlier said. But let’s use actual pump prices and not barrel prices to compare. In November 2007, when Bush was in office, the average price of gas at the pump nationally was $3.10, not $1.84. http://news.consumerreports.org/cars/2007/11/us-gas-prices-3.html

  • PikeMan

    +1 household on the Pike that won’t be using this station anymore for fill-ups, minor repairs and inspections.

    seems like an odd business decision to alienate so many of their local customers to support this publicity stunt.

  • Narlington

    I hope that newt also paid for the extra police for this shameful event. I wouldn’t want my tax dollars used for a guy who isn’t even running for public office. That would be wasteful spending.

  • Coraline

    Dear Newt, The American people are not so easily duped. Thanks for the gas. Too bad we can’t harness all the free gas that comes out of your mouth!

  • Elliott

    I was one of the first few people to pump gas before the lines began. I didn’t see Newt when at the gas station while I was there at 7 am. I heard he was next door at Bob & Edith’s having breakfast where it was rumored he ordered the whole left side of the menu.

  • Slimy Newt

    I will concede that Newt does not seem like a truly unkind or inhumane person. It’s not like made an 800-mile trip with the dog tied to the roof.

    • Patrick

      I think most dogs would prefer the ride over being eaten for dinner.

      • Joe Hoya

        As would most cows. And if someone had a cow as a family pet, I’d be equally appalled if he strapped that cow to the roof for a trip, as well.

        • Halo

          Depends on whose ox is being gored…

        • I Saw That

          I thought I saw a station wagon go by with a herford on the roof, but then again, I inhaled my youth…..

          • Halo

            IWhat IS the color of the boathouse at Hereford?

          • That Manager


  • I’m so glad you pointed out the price of gas in the Bush administration BEFORE the economic crash. If we want cheap gas again, all we need is another economic crisis.

    It’s stupid to think that more domestic production will reduce gasoline prices. Both oil and gas are fungible global commodities. It’s all about supply and demand.

    • Slimy Newt

      I remember gas prices in 1999 being $1/gallon! Those were the days–the days of WILLIAM JEFFERSON CLINTON.

      • Halo

        Just think of what would be offered free at a gas station if Clinton were running for re-election. Yummy!

  • Just Me

    To all of you that are upset about this “stunt”, the truth hurts doesn’t it.

    • drax

      But it’s a lie.

      We simply have no hope of achieving oil independence or bringing gas prices down through domestic drilling. We just don’t have enough oil to do that. It’s idiocy.

    • Josh S

      What “truth?”

  • StuntDummy

    Nice article from NPR about how increasing US oil production to lower gas prices is really just a subsidy to the rest of the world.


    Newt used to be a serious thinker. These days he’s a political gimmick in desperate search of cultural relevance.

  • Halo

    Can’t help but chuckle-as if any of this was of any import whatsoever.

  • jim

    THIS IS GREAT! Doing this in the heart of the People’s Republic of Arlington is just rubbing the lefties noses in it! I will make a point to fill up at that station!

    • drax

      It’s funny how the “lefties” understand the economics of oil so much better than you. And they believe in long-term, self-reliant personal responsibility instead of feeling entitled to the government making sure they have cheap gas.

      Yep, mighty funny.

      • (Gott) Mitt (Uns) Wrongney

        Dead dinosaurs are people, my friend!

        Let’s get government out of disaster relief and back into the bedroom where it belongs!

        • Halo


  • Nero

    That’s it commenters, keep slinging your insightful comments while Rome burns. Let’s fuss over some political stunt that some bat-S crazy, old, Las Vegas don pulls and miss the big picture. Petroleum is a FINITE resource. Let’s keep arguing over the deck chairs on the Titanic. Seems like a good use of time.

    • Martin Luther

      Depending on your time frame, everything is a finite resource, including the sun……..

      • Josh S

        Thanks. Insightful.

    • confused

      I am of the opinion that even before oil runs out, we will need to use less – the scientific consensus is we can’t go over a 2 degree C increase in global temp without risking catastrophic feedback effects, and we have enough hydrocarbons already discovered and recoverable to push us well beyond that, even if we discover ZERO new oil and nat gas (no ones prospecting for more coal, are they?)

      But how does mocking Newt contradict that? Its not like Newt is a big advocate of diversifying energy sources, or of conservation.

      • Josh S


        It’s not the discovering of the oil (coal/natural gas), it’s the burining of it.

      • drax

        Next wants to pump out and burn as much gas as possible as quickly as possible.

  • Me ke

    Yep….this place lost my business as well…do they care?…probably not….but I do

    • Mari

      Why doesn’t he go to the NY, NJ area and give them free gas? At least they need it. This cheap show off only underlines how these rich, out of touch 1% wipe their (….) with this kind of money.
      We don’t need a political stunt, we need a caring President and we already have one!

  • Paco

    The economic expansions in India and China have a lot more to do with U.S. gas prices than who sits in the White House.

    That said, Mr. Obama has worked for increased fuel standards, something that can actually reduce U.S. dependency.

    Republicans like Saint Ronnie Reagan gutted the fuel efficiency standards that had actually been making an impact after OPEC held U.S. gas prices hostage in the early 70s. And the same Saint Ronnie sent a great message to the world by removing Jimmy Carter’s solar panels off the White House roof.

    Flash forward three decades and you still have the Republican Party, now far more extremist than under Reagan, still mocking intelligent energy policies and foisting “Drill Baby Drill” chants and holding stunts at local gas stations days before an election.

    Fact: The U.S. consumes about a quarter of the world’s petroleum supplies while having about three percent of its oil reserves.

    Reagan: “Facts are stupid things.”

  • Ben

    Jesus, you all are the most sanctimonious group ever. Despite it being a political event, why can’t we just enjoy the cheap gas that I’m sure a bunch of struggling families who live along the pike really needed?

    Those who won’t go back because of this are seriously misguided.

    • Josh S

      Are there no protests / boycotts that you would ever participate in?

      It seems to me that boycotts / protests are a fairly standard part of what it means to be a citizen. Not saying everyone has to participate in one, but they’re hardly misguided.

      • drax

        Ben’s “forget about principle or the long term, we want cheap gas now!” attitude fits perfectly with Newt’s agenda.

    • Paco

      Money talks, whether it’s Sheldon Adelson’s or mine. Even Newt understands this.

      The owner of the station allowed his business to be used for an off-base political statement aimed directly at the president. Fine. Deal with the consequences of doing so in Arlington.

  • Marie Antoinette

    Less than 48 hours we will have a new President. Can’t wait!

    • Josh S

      Wanna bet?

      Also, just out of curiosity, how will you, personally, benefit if Romney were to be elected?

  • Marie Antoinette

    Mon Dieu! Where do I begin, Josh?

    Sit back and watch over the next year. It’s going to be beautiful compared to what Obama has done (nothing) the past 4 years.

    • BlueSkies

      That wasn’t an answer.

    • Josh S



      You terrify me, Marie. Seriously.


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