Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy pressed White House press secretary Jen Psaki on the Biden administration blaming Russia for rising gas prices at a Wednesday press briefing.
“Why did you guys decide to rebrand the rise in gas prices as the #PutinPriceTag?” Doocy began.
“If you want to use that on Fox, I welcome that,” Psaki replied.
“Oh, I think it’ll get a lot of airtime because we have heard the president warn for months the gas prices were rising because of the supply chain and because of post-pandemic demand. If you guys knew for months that this was going to be the #PutinPriceTag, why are we just hearing that now?”
The press secretary answered that no one predicted the country would be in its current state and that Russia waging war on Ukraine led to “instability and volatility” in the oil markets. She said analysts found the invasion created instabilities in the global markets. (RELATED: CNN Reporter Claims People Are ‘Okay’ With High Gas Prices As Long As Putin Is ‘Held Accountable’)
Doocy then asked if Biden would “cut red tape” and provide additional permits for oil and gas companies to drill, to which Psaki replied that the administration wants the companies to use the 9,000 permits available and has no intention of reinstating the pipeline.
“There are 9,000 unused approved permits to drill in. That should not require us inviting them to do that, they should do that themselves.” Psaki said. “What additional permits do they need? The leases are there, the permits are there, I don’t think they need an embroidered invitation to drill. They are oil companies.”
Fox Business White House correspondent Edward Lawrence similarly pointed to rising prices prior to the invasion, asking if Biden plans to have Americans wait until 2030 for lower prices, around when he had set his goal to have an 100% electric vehicle fleet by 2035.
“No, that’s never been our theory or our belief. I would say since President Putin began his military buildup on Ukrainian borders, the price of gas at the pump in America has gone up 75 cents, which is significant, of course. There’s widespread consensus that the sharp run of energy prices since January was caused by the building of Putin’s troops at Ukraine’s border.”
The press secretary added that officials predicted the economy would take a hit based on the conflicts in Eastern Europe.
“The price of gas on Feb. 14 was at its highest level since 2014, so it was already at an elevated level —” Lawrence said.
“And the buildup of troops was even before that,” Psaki responded.
After the invasion, crude oil prices increased to over $100 per barrel and caused gas prices to surge over $4 per gallon. Prior to the invasion, gas prices hit record-high levels in late-2021, causing Biden to tap the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to release 50 million oil barrels.