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Bill Adair
By Bill Adair February 11, 2008

He needs a fill-up on statistics

At a campaign rally at T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria, Va., on Feb. 10, 2008, Barack Obama opened his speech by talking about how Americans are feeling squeezed by the price of college, health care and gasoline.

"They've never paid more for gas at the pump," he said.

A month and a half ago, we found Obama was inaccurate for a similar statement, but we thought we should take another look.

A check of the latest numbers finds he is still wrong.

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The Feb. 4 report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration found the average price of gasoline was $2.98 a gallon, down 23 cents from the peak of $3.22 last May 21.

In fact, while the senator was in Alexandria, his motorcade drivers could have filled up for $2.92 a gallon at Barber's Auto Service Center, an Exxon station near the school.

We might have been inclined to cut Obama some slack for speaking in general terms about the price of gas, but he is still wrong when you look at historical levels. If you adjust for inflation, the current national price is still 41 cents below the peak of $3.39 per gallon, set in March 1981.

And so, we find his statement False.

Our Sources

U.S. Energy Information Administration, Retail gasoline prices, 1990-2008

Interviews with: Sam Abutaa, manager, Barber's Auto Service Station, Alexandria, Va.; Jonathan Cogan, energy information specialist, Energy Information Administration

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