by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
A Huffington Post headline … crows: “Jen Psaki Schools Fox News’ Peter Doocy With Facts: ‘I Know That Can Be Inconvenient.’” Doocy, the Post reported, had “trie[d] to blame rising gas prices on the Biden administration rather than Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.” But thankfully, “no-nonsense White House press secretary Jen Psaki” schooled him, using “‘facts’ to shoot down” the reporter’s “hectoring questions.” As the Huffington Post tells it, Doocy was simply no match for Psaki’s awesome power. …
… No facts followed. What did follow, however, was the White House’s new line on skyrocketing gas prices: “The suggestion that we are not allowing companies to drill is inaccurate,” Psaki said. “The suggestion that that is what is hindering or preventing gas prices to come down is inaccurate.” That was echoed by the president himself at a press conference today: “Let me be clear,” Biden said. “It’s simply not true that my administration or policies are holding back domestic energy production. That’s simply not true.”
There’s just one small problem: It is, in fact, true. “Interior has been slow-rolling oil and gas permits since Mr. Biden took office,” the Wall Street Journal editorial board wrote last week. Citing “mounting evidence of anti-consumer behavior by oil-and-gas companies,” the White House told the Federal Trade Commission to “bring all of the Commission’s tools to bear if you uncover any wrongdoing” in November 2021. Biden’s flurry of executive orders during his first months in office included killing the Keystone XL pipeline, which would have transported up to 830,000 barrels of crude oil per day from Canada to the U.S., and halting new oil and natural-gas drilling on public lands and waters. Last month, the administration indefinitely halted all new drilling permits altogether.