As most of the country is on the watch for gas prices to move over $4 per gallon drivers in the District of Columbia can fill their tanks for much more. According to the GasBuddy web site, which tracks gasoline prices at the nation’s gas stations, the price for a gallon of unleaded gas is $4.999 at the Exxon station at 2708 Virginia Ave NW, 10 blocks due west of the White House and in the shadow of the Watergate. Midgrade gas is running at $5.099 and premium will cost residents of Northwest DC $5.199.
Granted this is the highest priced gasoline reported for the District, but the station is located at the end of Rock Creek Parkway where the sign is certain to be seen by thousands of commuters. Whether they pull in there to gas up or cross the Potomac for more affordable fuel in Virginia, they will still be reminded daily that their cost of living has increased dramatically since President Obama took office. The national average for a gallon of gas was around $1.79 on inauguration day in 2009; $5 gas would be 2.8 times higher. Luckily for DC residents, census data show that the capital region is the wealthiest metropolitan area in America. This is despite not being known for “making stuff,” to paraphrase Mr. Obama. Add instability in the Middle East, no Keystone pipeline and growing demand for oil from China and India and the Obama campaign may have a lot to explain this summer when gas prices really take off.