When President Joe Biden was sworn into office in 2021, the national average for a gallon of gas was $2.38. Since then, the price has soared. In 2022, regular unleaded and diesel fuel saw record highs in the Granite State, the former notching $5 a gallon in June and the latter $6.35 a gallon in May.
The price of gasoline remains about 50 percent higher than when Biden took office.
But on Thursday, instead of paying $3.69 a gallon, the folks at Americans for Prosperity-New Hampshire (AFP-NH) brought back the pre-Biden gas price, if just for a few hours. From 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., AFP-NH partnered with Klemm’s Mobil in Salem, N.H., to drop the price of a gallon of gas to $2.38.
“We’re meeting here at Klemm’s Mobil in Salem to demonstrate to people the impact of bad policies coming out of Washington,” AFP-NH State Director Greg Moore said. “Whether it be bad energy policies driving up gas costs specifically or out-of-control spending which is driving inflation, we’re seeing the impact everywhere. And as you can see by the interest from a lot of folks showing up, people are feeling the pain at the pump.”
AFP-NH’s symbolic move, part of its “Prosperity is Possible” campaign, gave some temporary breathing room for about 200 drivers.
“This is really Bidenomics at play,” Moore said. “It really demonstrates how if we want to have an economy of abundance, we’re going to need to make changes in Washington.”
The event demonstrated above all else that, while gas price statistics are easy to cite and refer to or may even seem arbitrary to some, the reality is that everyday Americans are affected by them, and there are real policies behind them.
“I drive through the area all the time, and I happened to see the sign for the gas, so I stopped in,” said Greg Gallant of Salem. He said about the price of gas, “It affects everything that you do in your life.”
At current prices, it usually costs Gallant $70 to fill his car’s tank. Today, he saved around $10–$15 on gas, he told NHJournal.
“I was honestly grabbing a coffee, and I rolled in, and it caught me with $2.38 gas. I was like, ‘Why not?’” said Tyler Brissenden of Salem.
“For a while, I ran with two cars. I remember when [prices] were down in the mid-to-low ones. So, jumping up to like the fives was ridiculous,” Brissenden said. “I’m also a realtor on the side, and so I do a lot of driving, and you end up spending four, five, six hundred bucks a month, sometimes just on fuel.”
Brissenden told NHJournal it costs him $65–$70 to fill up his car and about $100 for his Ford F-150 with current gas prices.
“I remember these prices. I remember the smile on my face putting the gas in there.”
AFP-NH’s event sold 1,811 gallons of gas. At Klemm’s Mobil’s list price of $3.69 a gallon, 1,811 gallons would normally cost $6,682.59. At $2.38 a gallon, it was $4,310.18 — saving the lucky 200 drivers $2,372.41.
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Granite Staters consume about 1.45 million gallons of gasoline daily as of 2021.
The state’s current average price of $3.53 a gallon is a daily cost of nearly $5.11 million. Drop that price to $2.38 for a day statewide, and the daily total is $3.44 million — about $1.66 million saved daily.
State Rep. Emily Phillips (R-Fremont) stopped by to take advantage of the cheap gas, highlighting what she thinks needs to be done to return to such price levels.
“We need to get back to America First policy,” she said. “We stopped with our oil production, everything. I mean, that’s just about energy. But, in general, inflation is hurting all Americans across the board, and New Hampshire is not unique to that.”
Moore dismissed the notion that America’s current economic challenges are simply part of global events beyond its control. He said policies in D.C. have real impacts on the streets of New Hampshire.
“First and foremost, you’ve got to change the administration,” Moore told NHJournal. “You have an administration that has a policy that’s been hostile to energy providers. You have an administration that has policies that have been hostile to a stable dollar via reckless spending. And what we need are policies that are going to flip that script. We need policies that are going to be geared towards actually sound fiscal spending. We need policies committed to an economy where we’re looking for energy abundance.”
As the high price of gas continues to take its toll on Granite Staters, Gallant and Brissenden both emphasized that the issue will be top-of-mind when they vote.
“Yeah, it’s probably going to be the top issue, the primary issue, looking forward as far as whose policies are going to be better for the economy,” Gallant said.
“Inflation, in general, gas prices just being one of the most prominent because it’s something we use every day — absolutely,” Brissenden added.