Though the average price for a gallon of gasoline in the U.S. is just under $5, drivers in some states are paying even more at the pump. In California, the average price per gallon was $6.38 as of June 21, according to AAA.
Claims about the cost of gas have been circulating since Russia launched its war on Ukraine in February 2022, a move that led to increased energy costs worldwide. For example, a fake photo claiming to show gas prices at $9 per gallon at a station in Stockton, California, made the rounds on Facebook in March – but the price was actually $5.03 at the time.
Now, another photo posted on June 19 and shared more than 80,000 times on Twitter claims to show a gallon of both regular unleaded gasoline and diesel selling for $7.11 at a 7-Eleven location. The Twitter user wrote in an ominous message that “the prophecy has been fulfilled.”
Elon Musk shared the photo via Twitter several days later without a caption. His tweet also garnered more than 60,000 shares.
VERIFY viewer Ben also texted the team to ask whether a 7-Eleven location is selling gas for $7.11 per gallon.
Is 7-Eleven selling gas for $7.11 per gallon?
No, 7-Eleven isn’t selling gas for $7.11 per gallon. The photo is more than a year old and shows a new station testing its fuel price sign.
WHAT WE FOUND
7-Eleven, Inc. told VERIFY that the photo shared on social media is more than a year old. Though the image is real, it doesn’t show a fuel station that’s in service.
Building contractors used to test the fuel price signs at newly built, but not yet open, 7-Eleven locations at $7.11 “in honor of the store’s name,” the company said.
A spokesperson for GasBuddy also wrote in an email that 7-Eleven “commonly uses the $7.11 price when testing their signs.”
“We have since requested that building contractors stop this practice and hope this recently recirculated photo did not cause any confusion for 7-Eleven customers,” 7-Eleven said in its statement.
A similar photo of gas prices displayed as $7.11 per gallon at a 7-Eleven location was also posted on Reddit in July 2016.
Matt Beemsterboer initially posted the photo now circulating on Twitter to Reddit in 2021. He also confirmed in a tweet on June 20 that he took the photo when test prices were displayed and gas at that station was currently selling for less than $7 per gallon.
Beemsterboer told NPR on June 21 that he was walking nearly three blocks from his Chicago home about a year ago when he saw an old Mobil gas station being rebuilt as a 7-Eleven.
GasBuddy’s spokesperson said that if the station mentioned in the NPR story is accurate, it’s selling gas for $6.09 per gallon as of June 22. There aren’t any stations with gas currently priced at $7.11 per gallon, they added.
VERIFY reached out to Beemsterboer for information about the gas station’s location, but hasn’t received a response at the time of publishing.
It’s also worth noting that diesel fuel prices have been higher than regular-grade gas prices almost continuously since September 2004, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). That means you wouldn’t see a sign where the price for both gasoline and diesel fuel is $7.11 per gallon, as shown in the viral photo.
The average price of diesel fuel per gallon in the U.S. was about $5.81 on June 22, compared to roughly $4.96 for a gallon of gasoline, according to AAA.