White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre reiterated on Wednesday to Fox News reporter Peter Doocy that high gas prices are Russian President Vladimir Putin’s fault.
Doocy asked Jean-Pierre, "On gas prices: Americans are now spending five-thousand dollars a year on gasoline, that’s almost double what they did a year ago. Where are people supposed to go to get all that extra cash?"
Jean-Pierre responded, "Well, I mean one of the things that we’ve been very clear about is to do everything in our power to make sure that we lower costs. You know, it is important. We see it, and the President understands what the American people are going through, and that’s why we’re doing everything that we can."
She added, "We’ve made multiple announcements in the past several months of what we’re doing. Whether it’s the strategic petroleum reserve, whether it's the Ethanol 15, to make sure that the American people are not feeling Putin’s price hike. This is where this is coming from. Sixty to seventy percent of the current price hike that we have seen, has come from Putin’s aggression against Ukraine."
Reuters reported this week that the US Strategic Petroleum Reserve is at its lowest level of supply since 1987, in the wake of Biden’s decision to release a million barrels a day. According to Quartz, Biden’s decision to lift the ban on selling E15 gas over the summer will only impact the 1.5 percent of gas stations that can "safely store E15."
Doocy in his follow-up asked: "So, the President announces on March 31st, that he’s got all these steps to lower gas prices, and it’s still Putin’s fault seven weeks later?"
Jean-Pierre replied, "Well because what I’m saying is since the war — since Putin’s war of aggression against Ukraine started back in February, we did see a spike. But before then, it had… the price per gallon had fallen down about ten cents or more, and then Putin started his aggression on Ukraine… his violent aggression on Ukraine, against their democracy, against their sovereignty. And we saw about… the facts show, it went up about sixty to seventy percent. So it is Putin’s tax hike. This is what we’re talking about."
A repeat of this conversation happened in early March when Doocy asked former press secretary Jen Psaki about what was labeled "Putin’s price hike." Psaki dismissed the need for domestic oil production in her answer at the time.
Gas stations in Washington are running out of fuel and have updated pump programming to account for the possibility of prices exceeding $10 per gallon.
Analysts at JPMorgan told CNN that $6 per gallon of gas could be commonplace across America by the end of the summer. Gas prices are currently over $4 everywhere, nationwide.
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