White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki shut down Fox News reporter Peter Doocy after he suggested that the federal government bears responsibility for rising gas prices.
Psaki's clash with Doocy comes amid concerns about the United States' involvement with the Russian energy sector in the days since Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered his forces to invade Ukraine, creating the largest humanitarian crisis in Europe in decades and upsetting markets around the world.
You can watch the exchange in the video below.
It all began when Doocy suggested that President Joe Biden and his administration are skirting their responsibilities and seeking to blame Putin for rising gas prices:
"It sounds like you guys are blaming Putin for the increase in gas prices. But weren't gas prices going up anyway because of post-pandemic supply-chain issues?"
But he did not accept Psaki's response that energy price spikes are "a direct result of the invasion of Ukraine," asking:
"So, you say you're going to do everything you can to reduce the impact that high gas prices has on Americans. We're asking other countries to think about pumping more oil. Why not just do it here?"
Doocy went on to insist that an executive order President Biden signed in his first week that "halted new oil and gas leases on public land" is responsible for increasing gas prices even as Psaki pointed out that federal policies have not limited supplies of oil and gas.
When he complained that "there are 9,000 permits that are not being used," Psaki shut him down with a blunt response:
"So the suggestion that we're not allowing companies to drill is inaccurate. The suggestion that that is what is hindering or preventing gas prices from coming down is inaccurate."
And when Doocy asked if the Biden administration thinks "asking Saudi Arabia or Venezuela or Iran is reducing our dependence on foreign oil," Psaki was even firmer:
"I don't think anyone is advocating for Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon, perhaps, except for the former president, who pulled us out of the [nuclear] deal."
Many have praised Psaki for her response and criticized Doocy's line of questioning.
Psaki's exchange with Doocy is the second time over the last few days that she has had to respond to similar talking points from a Fox News reporter.
Last week, Fox News reporter Jacqui Heinrich asked why the White House isn't increasing domestic energy production, a question that received criticism because the White House does not have control over it.
When Psaki reminded Heinrich that "there are 9000 approved oil leases that the oil companies are not tapping into currently" and urged her to direct her question to oil companies themselves, Heinrich asked her to explain "if there is anything the administration can do to get those providers back to pre-pandemic levels."
Psaki stressed that Heinrich's question would be better suited for the oil companies though that did not stop Heinrich from suggesting that "energy friendly policies," such as the decision to abandon the politically contentious Keystone XL pipeline have contributed to the problem.
Heinrich's question prompted Psaki to point out that the pipeline "has never been operational," noting that it is "a proposed solution that has no relationship or would have no impact on what the problem is."