White House blames Russia for record-high gas prices, coining '#PutinPriceHike'

Energy crisis began on ‘day one’ of Biden’s presidency: Rick Perry

Former Texas Governor Rick Perry weighs in after President Biden blamed Russia for surging gas prices.

The White House is blaming Russian President Vladimir Putin for record-high gas prices in the United States, coining the surge as the #PutinPriceHike and vowing that President Biden will do everything he can to shield Americans “from pain at the pump.”

Americans are experiencing the highest gas prices since the 2008 financial crisis, with the national gas price average reaching more than $4 per gallon – the highest average to date, according to AAA.

White House communications director Kate Bedingfield on Wednesday tweeted that, for months, Putin “has been saber-rattling, and for months, gas prices have been going up — up 75 cents since he began his military build-up” along the Ukrainian border.

“This is the #PutinPriceHike in action, and @POTUS is going to use every tool at his disposal to shield Americans from pain at the pump,” she wrote.

Biden on Tuesday announced a ban on all imports of Russian oil, gas and energy to the United States, targeting the “main artery” of Russia’s economy amid Putin’s war on Ukraine.

During remarks from the White House Tuesday, though, Biden warned Americans that the ban would cost American families.

“Putin’s war is already hurting American families at the gas pump since Putin began his military buildup on Ukrainian borders,” Biden warned. “And with this action, it’s going to go up further. I’m going to do everything I can to minimize Putin’s price hike here at home and coordination with our partners.” 

The president, speaking from the White House on Tuesday, said the ban has “strong bipartisan support in Congress and, I believe, the country.”

“Americans have rallied to support the Ukrainian people and made it clear we will not be part of subsidizing Putin’s war,” Biden said.

Russian oil exports account for about one-third of Europe’s oil imports, however, for the United States, Russian exports are just under 10% of U.S. overall imports.

The president was asked on Tuesday if he had a message for the American people on gas prices.

“They’re going to go up,” he said.

When asked what is he going to do about it, Biden replied: “Can’t do much right now. Russia is responsible.”

Biden has been criticized by both Democrats and Republicans for high gas prices, which have risen sharply under his administration even before Russia’s invasion. Many have publicly called for him to open up oil and gas drilling in the United States to lessen the country’s dependence on foreign oil.

Biden, on Tuesday, though, said it is “not true” that his administration is holding back domestic energy production, warning that gas prices will “go up further” from their current record levels, and reiterated his support for government spending on renewable energy sources and criticizing the oil and gas industry for not taking full advantage of drilling opportunities in the U.S.

Biden said it is “simply not true” that his policies “are holding back domestic energy production.”

“Even amid the pandemic, companies in the United States pumped more oil during my first year in office than they did during my predecessor’s first year,” he said.

“We’re approaching record levels of oil and gas production in the United States, and we’re on track to set a record of oil production next,” he said, adding that in the U.S. “90% of onshore oil production takes place on land that isn’t owned by the federal government.” 

“And the remaining 10% that occurs on federal land, the oil and gas industry has millions of acres leased — they have 9,000 permits to drill,” he said. “Now, they could be drilling right now. Yesterday, last week, last year, they have 9,000 [permits] to drill onshore that are already approved.

“So let me be clear: they are not using them for production. That’s their decision. These are the facts. We should be honest about the facts.” 

But American Petroleum Institute CEO Mike Sommers told FOX Business on Monday that the White House “certainly doesn’t have their facts straight on this,” adding that a lease is merely the first step in a process that includes investigating whether there is any oil or gas in the land.

Biden has been facing criticism from Republicans, urging him to lift his executive orders that canceled the Keystone XL pipeline from Canada and froze new oil and gas leases on federal lands.

Biden went on to say that this “crisis” is a “stark reminder” that, in order to “protect our economy over the long term,” the United States needs “to become energy independent.”

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