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American News Jun 15, 2022 10:42 PM EST

WATCH: NATSEC advisor questioned on why Biden is pushing for Saudi oil over US production

"How is it that you guys have determined that it's in the US national security interest to ask Saudi Arabia to drill more oil, instead of just letting oil companies drill more here in the US?"

WATCH: NATSEC advisor questioned on why Biden is pushing for Saudi oil over US production
Katie Daviscourt Seattle, WA

During a White House press conference on Wednesday, National Security Council coordinator for strategic communications John Kirby was grilled on why it’s a national security interest to ask Saudi Arabia to drill more oil, rather than letting oil companies drill more in the US.

"How is it that you guys have determined that it's in the US national security interest to ask Saudi Arabia to drill more oil, instead of just letting oil companies drill more here in the US?" Peter Doocy of Fox News asked.

Kirby claimed that US officials "never said" that it was "a national security interest" to get Saudi Arabia to pump more oil, noting that the US has more than 9000 unused drilling permits in the US.

Doocy continued on to ask that as a national strategic issue, "how much lower can we let the strategic petroleum reserves get before that becomes a problem?"

"The President did tap into the strategic oil reserves to try to relieve some of the pressure at the pump, and he'll use a range of tools available to him going forward," Kirby told Doocy.

Adding, "I think that's about the best I can do on it."

Kirby then said that the production of oil is a "global issue" and applauded Saudi Arabia for their "leadership" on oil production.

President Biden is set to visit Saudi Arabia next month where he will look for solutions to skyrocketing inflation and energy prices as American fuel prices hit a 41-year record high, averaging $5 at the pump and pummeling American families.

To help bring costs down, the Biden administration has called on US oil producers to ramp up drilling, but experts warn they can't simply flip a switch and return to pre-pandemic levels.

According to the Financial Times, the US has been able to climb up to 11.6 million barrels per day, but that still falls short of the 13 million barrels that was produced daily pre-pandemic.

This number is unlikely to change dramatically any time soon. As Rapidan Energy's Bob McNally points out, it is "almost impossible" to ramp up production "in a matter of months or quarters." He added that the Biden administration's request was akin to "asking for blood from a stone."

Over the last few months, both Biden and his administration have repeatedly blamed Russian President Vladimir Putin for the rise in gas prices.

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