Fox News host Dana Perino confronted White House press secretary Jen Psaki on “America’s Newsroom” Tuesday about President Joe Biden’s response to the rise in energy and gas prices.
Perino asked Psaki if the president would consider reversing his previous policies regarding energy in order to decrease U.S. dependence on foreign oil from countries like Russia. The global price of crude oil rose to over $100 per barrel the morning of Feb. 24 as Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
“The president shares the concern about any impact on gas prices, on energy prices for the American people,” Psaki replied. “That’s why a range of options remain on the table. He already recently tapped into the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) just last fall that had an impact.”
“But the impact, Jen, that was a blip. It doesn’t last,” Perino responded. (RELATED: ‘No Longer Energy Independent’: Martha MacCallum Confronts Jake Sullivan Over Keystone Pipeline XL)
The West Texas Intermediate crude oil index, which measures U.S. prices, rose over 2% on Nov. 23, despite Biden announcing he would withdraw 50 million barrels from the SPR.
Psaki told Perino that reversing Biden’s scrapping of the Keystone XL Pipeline when he first entered office and institution of a moratorium on American oil and gas companies receiving new federal leases would “not address the issue at all.” The press secretary claimed reinstating the Keystone XL pipeline would take several years to impact energy prices and that there are currently 9,000 federal leases unused by oil companies.
“Yes, we all want to take steps to address any raise in gas prices that impact the American people but we should be very clear about what policies will help and what policies will not help,” Psaki continued. “And over time, we absolutely need to reduce our dependence and that’s something you’re seeing European countries take steps to do as well.”
“Just a point on that, it took Europe years to get to the point where they were completely dependent, or 60% dependent, on Russia,” Perino concluded.
Psaki said Sunday that the Russia-Ukraine conflict’s effect on energy prices proves the necessity to move away from crude oil altogether.