Americans for Prosperity hosted a two-hour fill-the-tank event at Mike’s Tesoro on Jewell Lake Road on Tuesday, where hundreds of cars lined up to get gas for the price it was when Donald Trump left office — $2.38 a gallon.
The purpose of the exercise was to remind the public that policies coming from Washington, D.C. have real impacts on Americans’ lives. Those who came for the gas were families, working people, military service members, and retired Alaskans. Cars included old pickup trucks and working vehicles to family sedans and compacts. Few, if any, late model vehicles were in the mix. This was an event for working-class people who are being hit the hardest by inflation under the current regime in Washington, D.C.
This summer, the True Cost Tour is stopping in more than 60 cities to connect people to the fact that this is Washington’s price hike: Consumers are paying more but getting less.
“Together, we can convince Washington to end wasteful spending, unleash energy abundance, and ignite innovation,” the group says on its website.
Americans for Prosperity State Director Bernadette Wilson and a crowd of about 50 drivers and volunteers counted down as the price on the sign in front of the station went from $4.99 a gallon to $2.38 a gallon, and then cars began to file in and top off their tanks. Americans for Prosperity paid Mike’s Tesoro the difference between the two prices.
“People were incredibly appreciative. One of the resounding responses we got from people is just how much the pain at the pump and just how much Washington’s burdensome regulations impact their day to day lives. We talked to people on fixed incomes, who have no way to keep upwtih this high rate of inflation.
“We had one woman with young children who said she gone online and searched for what the cost of a bus fare is, because she can’t afford gas. An elderly woman said she doesn’t go to the grocery store as often because she is rationing fuel. Multiple military members told us their salary is set based on years of service and rank, and they just can’t go in and ask for a raise. These are our men and women defending us who cannot keep up with inflation,” Wilson said.
A couple of dozen volunteers were on hand to do crowd and traffic management. At one point, Sen. Lisa Murkowski showed up for a photo opportunity. Also dropping by was State Sen. Mia Costello, who had a campaign sign posted on the edge of the property. But the event was strictly non-campaign focused, said Wilson.
“People are realizing this was not a political event. We did not screen anyone for their political leanings. This was an opportunity for us to come together, to unite for the community, and do something good,” Wilson said.