FACT CHECK: Does This Picture Show How Low Gas Prices Were The Day Biden Took Office?

Hannah Hudnall | Fact Check Reporter

An image shared on Facebook purportedly shows an Exxon gas station sign with prices from the day President Joe Biden took office.

Verdict: False

The image appears to have been generated using a website. Versions of the same image have been shared online for more than a decade, according to a reverse image search.

Fact Check:

The average price of gas across the U.S. is up from $2.19 per gallon last year to $3.26 as of Oct. 8, according to the American Automobile Association. The rise largely has to do with the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, Business Insider reported, but that has not stopped some Americans from placing blame on the president.

One image shared on Facebook on Oct. 6 shows an Exxon gas station sign advertising a gallon of regular gas for $1.84. Below the sign is a message that reads, “Just kidding, those were our prices the day Biden took office.” (RELATED: Is Trump To Blame For $3 A Gallon Gas?) 

Nearly identical versions of the image, however, have been shared on the internet for more than a decade. A reverse image search reveals countless iterations of the same image were shared online as far back as 2008, all displaying different messages and gas prices.

For example, one 2008 version of the post shows a gallon of regular gas costing $3.25 and a message that reads, “Help wanted all shifts we pay more then the NYPD.” A version that went viral in 2012 showed the same gas prices and message as the version currently being shared on Facebook with the only difference being that it targeted former President Barack Obama, not Biden, according to the Washington Examiner.

Through an internet search, Check Your Fact discovered a website called atom.smasher.org that allows users to input their own gas prices and messages into the Exxon sign. Archived versions of the website show it has been active since at least 2006, meaning it could be the source of all the viral iterations of the Exxon post since then, including the post currently being shared on Facebook.

It is also worth noting that the average price of gas was not below $2 a gallon when Biden took office. The average price of a gallon of regular gas was $2.39 throughout the week Biden took office in January, according to the Energy Information Administration.

Hannah Hudnall

Fact Check Reporter