Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy pressed White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre on the administration’s efforts to lower gas prices at Thursday’s briefing.
Doocy questioned whether President Joe Biden’s administration is doing “everything” in their ability to lower prices at the pump.
“Is there something else to the question?” Jean-Pierre replied.
“Oh there’s a lot to the question,” Doocy replied. He mentioned the president’s meeting with officials with offshore wind equipment “but not oil and gas CEOs” Thursday and asked how that eases surging gas prices.
“Let me step back for a second—,” the press secretary said.
“But, by meeting with ofshore wind folks and not with oil and gas CEOs, how does that lower gas prices?” he interjected.
“You said he’s done everything in his power, they were a mile away,” he continued.
Jean-Pierre walked through the surge in gas prices —which recently exceeded $5 per gallon on average — due to the Russian invasion in Ukraine, then pointed to the “historic choice” to tap the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in late March to release up to 180 million oil barrels over the course of six consecutive months. She also said Biden took action allowing the sale of E15 gasoline throughout the summer to help lower gas prices. (RELATED: Doocy Presses Jean-Pierre On Claims That Inflation Is Worse Everywhere Else Around The Globe)
“The president is trying to figure out and take steps in how we can bring the gas prices down,” she said.
She argued the U.S. has a “high level” of domestic oil production and, therefore, is asking the oil refinery companies to increase their refining capacity.
“But your point is how we got here,” Doocy continued. “The president said as a candidate ‘no more drilling on federal lands, no more drilling including offshore.’ No ability for the oil industry to continue to drill, period. Aren’t [those] some of [the] things that would bring the price of gas down now?”
The press secretary said the prices are high due to oil companies cutting their refining capacity by 800,000 barrels per day in 2020. She argued domestic production is near pre-pandemic levels and that more oil was produced in the first year of the Biden administration than in the first two years of former President Donald Trump’s administration.
Doocy then pushed back against the president’s calls to switch to green energy, arguing that many Americans cannot afford “a $60,000 electric car.”
“That sounds like a painful transition, so how much of that pain is the president okay with?” he asked.
“We are in a transition to clean energy. That is something that is important, it is going to create jobs when you think about electric vehicles. It is going to give some families some tax credits that is going to be really important to have.”
“Right now, who can afford an electric car? The average price is $61,000,” Doocy argued.
“We are going to continue to move forward—”
“Is that the choice? $5 a gallon gas or a $61,000 electric car?” he asked.
Jean-Pierre said he is comparing “apples and oranges,” then added that the president is seeking the gas holiday to help alleviate prices. She then said oil refinery companies have the ability to bring down prices by $1.
“That matters to teachers, that matters to home healthcare aids, that matters to construction workers, that matters to plumbers, that matters to lifeguards,” she said. “Those are the people who are going to feel this in a way that will give them relief at the pump.”