White House press secretary stumped by question about energy producers: 'trying to put them out of business'

White House press secretary stumped by question about energy producers: 'trying to put them out of business'


Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy on Wednesday pressed White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre to explain exactly how President Biden expected oil companies to lower their gas prices when his administration has repeatedly tried to undermine them with its environmental policies. 

Jean-Pierre had kicked off the press conference touting Biden’s role in bringing down gas prices since their peak in the summer. 

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre speaks during a briefing at the White House in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday.
(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

She added that the president was “also calling on oil and gas companies to pass on their savings to consumers at the pump.” 

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Jean-Pierre referred to a chart indicating that industry profits margins are adding more than 60 cents to the average price of a gallon of gas “and keeping prices higher than they should be.” 

“This is unacceptable,” she said. 

Later in the press conference, Doocy asked Jean-Pierre why oil companies would “listen to an administration that is ultimately trying to put them out of business.” 

President Biden delivers remarks on energy as Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm listens during an event in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday.

President Biden delivers remarks on energy as Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm listens during an event in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday.
(Alex Wong/Getty Images)

“How is this administration trying to put them out of business?” Jean-Pierre replied. 

“Well, they produce fossil fuels, and this president says he wants to end fossil fuel,” Doocy said. 

Jean-Pierre reiterated that gas companies are making record profits “while more than 9,000 approved drilling permits remain untapped by the oil industry.” 

“There is no shortage of opportunity or incentive for oil companies to ramp up production,” Jean-Pierre said. “This is something that they can actually do. It is available to them. They can do this, and also they are getting the profits.” 

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Biden has had a hostile relationship with the oil industry since becoming president. On his first day in office, he issued an executive order canceling the Keystone XL pipeline. Biden has also repeatedly blamed oil companies for this year’s surge in energy prices, which has been partially driven by Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. 



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