Government Opening Free Gas Stations in Poor Neighborhoods
'Obamastation' Debuts in Detroit, Seventy
As the battle over Obamacare rages in
Washington, the White House is quietly using
a little known provision of the law to roll
out a nationwide network of free gas
stations for minorities and the poor.
According to a report in The Detroit
News this morning, the administration is
using its authority under the Affordable
Care Act to "improve transportation
routes to hospitals" to dispense
gasoline free of cost in disadvantaged
The $2 billion-a-year program aims to
distribute 40 million gallons of free
gasoline each year through 70 new gas
stations constructed in major metropolitan
areas. The Department of Health and Human
Services (DHS) will be responsible for
operating the network, whose first station
opened yesterday in Detroit.
"It's not something we're publicizing
very much, for obvious reasons,"
explains Dori Salcido, assistant DHS
secretary for public affairs. "But
under the law we are well within our rights
to offer this service, and we think it's
good public policy.
"How are people supposed to get to the
doctor's office if they don't have gas in
their cars? Health insurance is worthless if
you can't make your appointment. This is
just another fine example of government
stepping in and solving big problems."
No Gas for You
some developing oil-rich nations like
Venezuela and Indonesia subsidize gasoline
for the poor, the practice has never before
been tried in the United States. The plans
are proving controversial with some
taxpayers who are loathe to see their money
go to subsidize others.
"So basically I'm being punished for
not living in the ghetto," says Colin
Blair, a white person from the affluent
Detroit suburb of Farmington Hills. "I
have three kids and a mortgage. Life isn't
cheap for me either. I could use some free
An investigation into the station's
operations, however, reveals that Blair is
unlikely to be able to use the service.
"Supposedly access to the station is
determined by income," says Ebony
Jackson, manager of the first Obamastation.
"But it's pretty unrealistic to do an
income check on each and every driver. So
what we do is basically let all the black
people pump for free, and charge all the
white people the market rate."
The Obamastations scandal was uncovered by
Nolan Finley , a conservative Detroit
News columnist widely lauded for his groundbreaking
exposť on Obamaphones. Finley says the
blatant racial bias in the program is only
one of its many outrageous aspects.
"The stations have Obama campaign logo
on them and giant photos of the
president," he explains. "He's
trying to buy votes ahead of the midterm
elections. This is something you normally
only see in third world countries. I've
never been more scared for our