- White House press secretary Jen Psaki once again sparred with Fox News reporter Peter Doocy.
- Doocy asked Psaki on Wednesday why the Biden administration won’t revive the Keystone XL pipeline.
- “We’re already getting that oil, Peter,” Psaki responded, noting Canada still exports oil to the US.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki during a press briefing on Wednesday had a tense and lengthy back-and-forth with Fox News’ Peter Doocy over rising gas prices in the United States.
“Why did you guys decide to rebrand the rise in gas prices as the #PutinPriceHike?” Doocy asked, referencing the White House’s messaging that Russian President Vladimir Putin is responsible for the recent spike in US gas prices because of his invasion of Ukraine.
“I mean, if you want use that on Fox, I welcome that,” Psaki responded.
President Joe Biden on Tuesday announced a ban on Russian energy imports as part of the US’s response to Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. But Biden warned Americans that the move would also negatively affect the US.
“This is a step that we’re taking to inflict further pain on Putin, but there will be costs as well here in the United States,” Biden said. “I’m going to do everything I can to minimize Putin’s price hike here at home.”
Doocy followed up, saying that the Biden administration has previously said the COVID-19 pandemic and supply chain issues have contributed to a rise in inflation, and therefore, a rise in gas prices. Psaki pushed back that she didn’t think “anybody was predicting” Russia would go to war with Ukraine.
“Events in the world, including the invasion by Russia of a foreign country, does prompt instability and volatility in the global oil markets,” Psaki said. “And there are all sorts of different issues that can impact that. That’s what we’re seeing now.”
“If President Putin’s build-up of military troops is leading to volatility and an increase in oil and prices, hence you have a Putin gas-price pump,” she added.
Gas is already up more than $1 per gallon compared to this time last year, with prices reaching a record of $4.173 per gallon in the US on Tuesday. Fox News has focused its coverage on inflation for months, with opinion hosts advocating for more drilling in the US despite oil companies holding off on leases they’ve already been granted to drill on public lands.
Doocy also asked Psaki if the Biden administration would “cut red tape” to help American oil and gas companies drill in the country.
Psaki replied that the companies have the “permits” and “capacity” to produce oil, adding: “I don’t think they need an embroidered invitation to drill.”
Doocy then pressed Psaki on whether Biden would consider restarting construction on the Keystone XL pipeline, which Biden stopped when he took office last year. The pipeline would have carried oil from Canada to the US, and only around 8% of it was completed prior to Biden taking office.
The GOP has long criticized Biden’s decision to cancel the permit for the pipeline. Recently, some Republicans have seized on the pipeline as a possible option to increase energy supply and tackle rising gas prices.
The White House has repeatedly rejected the position, saying that restarting construction on the Keystone XL pipeline would have no impact on the current spike in gas prices.
“If we’re trying to bring about more supply, that does not address any problem,” Psaki said. “We’re already getting that oil, Peter. The pipeline is just a delivery mechanism. It is not an oil field. So it does not provide more supply into the system.”
While the White House has pushed renewable energy as a long-term solution to challenges like this one on the global oil market, the Biden administration approved almost 1,000 more drilling leases than the Trump administration did during each of their first years in office.