New York Congressional Candidate Claims To Use An Absurd Amount Of Gas

In a tweet complaining about gas prices, George Santos claimed to spend so much on gas that he got everybody doing math. UPDATE: We know what he's driving now.

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Image: JDT, Twitter, Kenworth, Wikimedia Commons

At the moment, gas prices are pretty high. That sucks. The average is currently $3.30 for regular, $3.97 for premium, and that’s about a buck more than last year, at least. It is finally trending down a bit, and there are plenty of reasons why the price is what it is right now, but for people running for elected office, blaming a member of the other party for high prices is a classic campaign strategy. Or, if you’re like New York Senate candidate George Santos, it can be an amazing opportunity to make a lot of people wonder just what the hell you’re doing to use so much damn gas?

I say this because Santos tweeted about how much more he’s been spending on gas, and included some math:

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Santos is an economist by trade, so he should have a pretty good handle on numbers. Yet, when we really look at those numbers, things get weird, fast.

According to Santos, he refuels three times a week, and pays $83 to fill his tank. He then computes how much he’s spending, and how much more that is than last year, but what I’m more interested in at the moment is just how much gas this man buys.

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Okay, so he spends $83 per tank. According to a follow-up tweet, here’s what he pays per gallon:

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Dude treats his car to the rich, creamy premium stuff, so he’s paying between 3.90 and 4.10 per gallon. On the low end of the per-gallon price, that would mean he has a gas tank of about 21 gallons, which is pretty damn big. On the high end, it’d be about 20 gallons.

There are plenty of full-sized SUVs with 20 gallon plus tanks, but I have not been able to find a current car with a tank in the range of 20-21 gallons that also gets around 13-15 MPG. Full-size trucks and SUVs tend to have somewhat larger tanks and remember, he’s claiming that a full tank costs him $83. But, maybe he drives an Audi A8, which is capable of delivering the fuel economy he claims and has a tank with a 21.7 gallon capacity. 

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He also claims that he fills up three times a week! And, if he gets the 13 to 15 mpg he claims, that’s let’s see, on the low side, 260 miles per tank, three times a week, for a total of 780 miles per week.

At 15 mpg, that’s a nice round 300 miles per tank, for 900 miles per week.

Let’s just go in the middle for an average of 840 miles per week of driving. That comes to 43,680 miles per year.

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Holy shit, that’s a lot of driving. Also, it’s not like this guy lives in Wyoming or something, where there’s vast ribbons of highway stretching out beyond the horizon—he lives in New York, and he says he travels into Manhattan daily and drives all over Long Island.

Long Island is about 120 miles long and 23 miles wide, but it’s not a perfect rectangle, of course, so its total area is 1,401 square miles. Long Island has 720 miles of roads, which would mean that the candidate’s weekly driving could cover every single mile of road on Long Island with miles to spare, even at the low estimate.

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That’s some thorough campaigning.

None of this makes any sense at all. I mean, if he was driving a Hummer towing two other Hummers, and each one of those Hummers was filled to the brim with Hummel figurines, and the whole rig was getting, say 4 mpg or so, then maybe, maybe those numbers would check out. But he’s not.

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If these numbers are somehow accurate, then Santos really, needs to rethink his approach to mobility in a deeply fundamental way. How is this dude driving? Does he ever leave his car? Does his house have its bathroom 45 minutes away by highway? Does he not pay his electric bill and instead runs his SUV on a treadmill to generate power all night? Does he take all his meals at one particular Arby’s in Virginia?

All of these possibilities make as much sense as anything else this dude says. Plus, he, an economist, it’s worth remembering, suggests this is all the fault of a “socialist agenda,” even though pricing a product higher based on demand is pretty much textbook capitalism.

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I mean, that’s how the system works, buddy! Prices are set on a market, though it’s worth noting that in the US, they’re heavily subsidized by the government.

There are numerous other factors that influence gas prices, sure, but I don’t think it’s “socialism” that’s making the gas prices high. At least not yet.

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Once we’re all toiling on Biden’s collective rhubarb farms and having to pay $5 per gallon for gas to fuel the lone collectively-owned Chevy Celebrity then we can blame socialism.

UPDATE: Thanks to some quality internet car-sleuthing, we know what kind of car Joe Biden is making this poor man drive so much! It’s actually two different cars, it seems.

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First, we have a confirmed Mercedes-Benz GLA:

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Okay, so this first-gen (it seems) GLA should have a 14.8 gallon tank and get about 24 mpg city/32 highway. If that’s the car Santos says is getting 13-15 mpg and he’s somehow putting 20 gallons into, then I’d say he owes his husband a trip to the mechanic, because something is not right with that car. Is the gas tank leaking?

Now, thanks to the sharp eyes of friend of the site Greg Fink, we can say that the other car appears to be a third-gen Nissan Pathfinder:

Image for article titled New York Congressional Candidate Claims To Use An Absurd Amount Of Gas
Screenshot: Instagram
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This one feels more like what Santos must drive normally, as that 21.1 gallon tank and crappyish gas mileage of 13 city/18 mpg highway (assuming it’s the V8) are closer to the candidate’s numbers.

So, I think that solves the mystery of what this guy is driving so much: it seems like it’s a Pathfinder. That doesn’t explain how the hell he’s driving it over 800 miles per week, but I’m just happy this puzzle seems to have been at least partially solved.