White House press secretary Jen Psaki pinned the blame for rising gas prices on the Russian government and U.S. oil companies in a Wednesday monologue titled, “Jen Psaki On Putin’s Gas Price Hike.”
The press secretary pointed to Russia’s war on Ukraine as the cause of gas prices exceeding an average of $4 per gallon, the highest level ever recorded in U.S. history.
“The reality is that Russia is one of the three largest oil producers in the world,” Psaki said. “And the fact that they have started this conflict, invaded a foreign country, and they are such a big producer of oil in the world is the reason why the global oil markets are disturbed right now and why your gas prices are going up.”
.@PressSec breaks down what @POTUS‘s Russian oil ban means for Americans, our strong domestic oil production under President Biden, and the steps we’re taking to mitigate the pain American families feel at the pump. pic.twitter.com/XOF2nf6v16
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) March 9, 2022
The press secretary said U.S. oil and gas production is increasing, claiming more domestic oil had been produced in President Joe Biden’s first year than that of his predecessor. She then claimed U.S. oil companies are not taking all potential steps necessary to ramp up production. (RELATED: ‘The Audacity’: Fox Business’ David Asman Debunks Psaki’s Claims On US Oil Production)
“And there’s opportunities to produce more from here,” she continued. “But part of this is on the oil companies. Right now, there are 9,000 approved unused permits that oil and gas companies could tap into now to ramp up production.”
Psaki said the Biden administration is again tapping into the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) to release 30 million barrels. The president first tapped the SPR in early November releasing an approximate 40 million barrels due to rising gas prices reaching an average of $3.42 a gallon.
The press secretary concluded that the U.S. must steer away from energy dependency and toward a reliance on clean energy.
“The only way to protect the United States over the long term is to become energy independent,” she said. “That’s why the president has been so focused on investing in clean energy technologies so that we can rely on that, and not President Putin, to set the price of gas.”
Biden first dubbed the spike in gas prices as “Putin’s Price Hike” at a Tuesday address announcing the ban on Russian imports of oil. White House communications director Kate Bedingfield tweeted Wednesday “#PutinPriceHike in action.”
Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy pressed Psaki on Wednesday regarding the rebranding of gas prices as the “Putin Price Hike.”
“If you want to use that on Fox, I welcome that,” she 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,” Doocy said. “If you guys knew for months that this was going to be the #PutinPriceTag, why are we just hearing that now?”
Psaki answered that analysts found the invasion led to instability in the global oil markets.