FACT CHECK: Is Gas $9 A Gallon In California?

Hannah Hudnall | Fact Check Reporter

An image shared on Facebook allegedly shows a Chevron gas station in California where gasoline prices are listed at over $9 a gallon.

Verdict: False

The creator of the image confirmed it is digitally edited. Currently, there are no legitimate reports of gas being sold for $9 a gallon in California.

Fact Check:

Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the U.S. and its allies have considered placing restrictions on buying Russian oil, according to NPR. The prospect of such a move has caused gasoline prices to jump over $4 per gallon on average across the U.S., nearly a national record, the outlet reports.

The Facebook image shows a Chevron gas station sign listing prices over $9 a gallon. “Ouch CALIFORNIA!” reads the image’s caption. (RELATED: Does This Picture Show How Low Gas Prices Were The Day Biden Took Office?)

The image is digitally altered. A reverse image search revealed the photo was first uploaded to the website of a California-based photographer named G. Dan Mitchell in 2011. The photographer wrote in a comment in 2019 that the image was purely the result of his “sense of humor” and “photoshop skills.”

Mitchell explained the photo was of the Furnace Creek gas station in Death Valley, California, which is notorious for exceptionally high gas prices. “I made an informal iPhone snap of the signs at this Furnace Creek gas station with the plan of photoshopping the numbers to produce what at that time would have been obviously preposterous prices, and then to share the picture in this April 1, 2011 April Fool’s Day post,” explained Mitchell.

California’s average state-wide gasoline price is $5.34 per gallon, according to a Mar. 7 estimate from the American Automobile Association (AAA). Inyo County, where Furnace Creek is located, is estimated to have an average price of $5.49, AAA reports. Check Your Fact found no reports of $9 prices in California or in the U.S.

Check Your Fact previously debunked an image from October 2021 that allegedly showed gas prices the day President Joe Biden took office.

Hannah Hudnall

Fact Check Reporter