White House press secretary Jen Psaki locked horns with Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy over the rising costs of gas at a Monday press briefing. Doocy questioned Psaki on the administration’s response to the average gas price hitting a record-breaking high of $4.104 per gallon on Monday. The cost continues to surge as the U.S. continues to import Russian oil despite the crisis in Ukraine.
“It sounds like you guys are blaming Putin for the increase in gas prices recently, but weren’t gas prices going up anyway because of post-pandemic supply chain issues?” Doocy asked.
“I think there’s no question that as we have seen, and outside analysts have conveyed this as well, the increase and the anticipated continued increase…that is a direct result of the invasion of Ukraine, and also there was an anticipation of that that was factored in as gas prices have gone up,” Psaki replied.
Doocy pressed Psaki about why the administration hasn’t taken steps to pump oil domestically.
“To be very clear, federal policies are not limiting the supplies of oil and gas to the continent—let me finish,” Psaki replied, as Doocy pushed back. “Let me finish.”
“Let me give you the facts here and I know that can be inconvenient but they’re important at this moment,” Psaki continued. “To the contrary, we have been clear that in the short term supply we must keep up with the demand. We are adhering around the world that we make the shift to secure a clean energy future.”
She said that the U.S. has produced more oil at “record numbers” and continues to do so, stating there are 9,000 drilling permits that are currently not being used.
Psaki argued that the president reversing his decision on Keystone would not impact prices more quickly than shifting the country away from dependence on fossil fuels.
Doocy wanted to know how high gas prices will have to reach before Biden sets aside his “ambitious climate goals” and temporarily raises domestic oil production. Psaki answered the U.S. produced more oil throughout the past year than in former President Donald Trump’s first year.
“I think you’re misidentifying what the actual issue is,” she told Doocy.
Psaki said Biden’s message is that he is doing “everything he can” to decrease the burden of high prices on the American people. She said that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine created “instability” in global markets and that the administration has taken steps to reduce prices and “mitigate the impact.”