PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — The corner of University and War Memorial in Peoria was packed Wednesday morning as drivers waited for a special deal on gasoline.
From 10 a.m. until 12 p.m., Beachler’s offered gas for $2.38 per gallon, the same price it was on the day of Biden’s inauguration. Long lines formed before 10 a.m.
“I have a big suburban and I need all the discounts…it’s worth the wait,” quipped Orlicia Gray, adding its been costing her $130 to fill up.
“I just want to take advantage of a good deal. Get some gas in my tank, get around town!” said Ray Summerville.
The event, “True Cost of Washington”, was planned by Americans for Prosperity-Illinois, a conservative group that advocates for energy independence and against high spending and top-down regulations.
“We are here to highlight [Rep. Darin] LaHood’s policies to reign in spending and remind people that policies have a real life impact,” said Jason Heffley, state director for Americans for Prosperity-Illinois.
Americans for Prosperity-Illinois paid the difference for 2,500 gallons of gasoline at Beachler’s, normally $4.89/gallon as of Tuesday. The group wants to highlight how the Biden administration’s “top-down regulations have impacted prices at the pump.”
“We were energy independent not too long ago. Under Trump, we were a net exporter of oil and gas,” said Heffley.
Rep. Darin LaHood (R-Peoria) visited Beachler’s and spoke to drivers waiting in line as part of the event.
“It’s ridiculous that we have high gas prices. It doesn’t need to be this way, today is a highlight of that,” he said. “Energy affects so many different things in this country. It affects food, it affects manufacturing, it affects people driving and transportation.”
LaHood said the key to energy independence is to undo the Keystone Pipeline and stop relying on foreign adversaries like Venezuela and Iran.
“We have 200 years of energy left in this country. We ought to have energy independence. There’s a way to do that…Open the Keystone Pipeline, open the western United States for drilling in a safe environmentally friendly way,” he said.
Some drivers blamed record-high gas prices on President Joe Biden.
“Well, considering a new president, he did make a lot of promises, and he’s not following through with it,” said Cassie VanDusen.
Other drivers blamed the oil and gas companies themselves.
“I don’t blame this on Joe Biden, I don’t blame gas prices on any president. I blame it on the big oil companies,” said Thomas McDowell. “You guys are making too much money. Your profit margins are way, way up there. Trickle some of that back down, give some of that back to the American people.”
Beachler’s estimated some 150 to 200 cars were able to fill up cheap, but they had to turn away more than 500 drivers.
Americans for Prosperity is on a nationwide tour to 100 gas stations to show the “True Cost of Washington.” They will be at a gas station in Springfield on Thursday. Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Taylorville) is expected to attend.
Shabnam Danesh was there live. Watch her video below: