Stickers featuring President Joe Biden pointing alongside the words “I did that” have been appearing on gas station pumps across the country over the past few months.
Although the stickers first started appearing in late 2021, they started to get more attention and traction as the national average price of gas reached an all time high.
According to AAA, the current national price for a gallon of regular gas is around $4.59, more than double what it was at the start of 2021.
The stickers are part of the disputed claims, often pushed by the GOP, that Biden and his policies are to blame for the rapid rise in gas prices.
The main reasons often given for the gas price rises are disruptions to global supply resulting from the COVID pandemic and the fallout of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Cruz Blames Biden
On May 18, Texas Senator Ted Cruz repeated the suggestion that Biden is to blame for the rise in prices while referencing the stickers, which are popping up at gas pumps across the country.
“I’ll tell you what, the little stickers on gas pumps all across the country illustrate the American people know exactly whose fault this is,” Cruz said. “This was deliberate. This isn’t an accident. This isn’t an unintended side effect. This is exactly what Joe Biden promised he would do, and it’s what he’s done.”
Cruz goes onto to suggest that a number of decisions by the president, including canceling the Keystone pipeline and halting all federal oil and gas leasing, resulted in the rise of gas prices even before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Other factors that conservative figures have raised are Biden’s vows to reduce emissions and fossil fuel reliance, as well as the president’s fractured relationship with Saudi Arabia, which has prevented a significant increase in oil production.
This isn’t the first time that the stickers have attracted widespread attention. In March, gas station workers complained about how often they have to remove them from the pumps as the anger towards the president intensified.
“Now it’s like almost an everyday thing,” Hajra Akram, a cashier at Stockmen’s Truck Stop in St. Paul, Minnesota, told KSTP. “The minute they pile up and it’s like, ‘Oh, I got to take time from out of being here and scrape it off first.’ So, you know, just keep it off of there—maybe put it on your own car on the back.”
In April, Pennsylvania man Thomas Glazewski was arrested after getting into an altercation with police and workers at a local Turkey Hill gas station after he allegedly placed “I did that” stickers on the pumps and sprayed them with a substance to make them more difficult to remove.
According to Slate, a large number of the “I did that” stickers have come from two online stores—one run by California man Javier Estrada Ovalles and another from someone who only wished to be known as Keenan.
Ovalles said that once the price of gas started rising, orders for the stickers also rapidly increased from around 20 to 30 individual orders a day to 80, many of which were requiring packs of 10 or more.
“I live an hour away, so every day I drive an hour here and back. I used to spend about $30 every three, four days. Now it’s about $50, $60,” Ovalles told Slate in March.
When asked whether her personally believes Biden is responsible for the rising gas prices, Ovalles said: “Maybe not directly, but indirectly from the actions and decisions that he’s made, I believe so, yes.”