Administration

Psaki says calls to enhance US oil production are a ‘misdiagnosis’

White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Sunday said calls for the U.S. to boost its own fossil fuel production in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which has increased oil prices further, were a “misdiagnosis.”

Since Russia launched a full-scale military invasion of Ukraine last week, the U.S. has issued a wave of sanctions against Russian banks and even Russian President Vladimir Putin himself.

But the U.S. has so far refrained from directly sanctioning Russian energy exports. The reason is Europe, which depends on Russian oil and has opposed doing anything that would turn off the spigot.

Republican lawmakers have called on the Biden administration to boost domestic energy production in order to lessen reliance on Russian energy. 

Appearing on ABC’s “This Week,” Psaki said that energy sanctions were still on the table.

“The way that the president, President Biden, has approached sanctions is we want to take every step to maximize the impact and the consequences on President Putin while minimizing the impact on the American people and the global community,” said Psaki.

Gas prices are widely expected to reach as high as $4 per gallon in mid-March. 

“This Week” host George Stephanopoulos pointed to recommendations from Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) for the U.S. to lift restrictions on oil drilling on federal land and for the Keystone Pipeline to be reopened. Psaki said Cotton’s recommendations would not solve any of the U.S.’s problems.

“The Keystone Pipeline was not processing oil through the system. That does not solve any problems. That’s a misdiagnosis or maybe a misdiagnosis of what needs to happen,” said Psaki. “I would also note that on oil leases, what this actually justifies in President Biden’s view is the fact that we need to reduce our dependence on foreign oil, on oil in general … and we need to look at other ways of having energy in our country and others.”

Tags George Stephanopoulos International sanctions during the Russo-Ukrainian War Jen Psaki Jen Psaki Joe Biden Joe Biden Tom Cotton United States energy independence Vladimir Putin Vladimir Putin

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