The Biden administration appeared to put out conflicting messages on gas prices when U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm begged oil companies to increase production in order to ease the price at the pump.
The statement came after several administration members denied that increasing domestic production was possible or that it would have any effect on gas prices.
“Right now, we need oil and gas production to rise to meet current demand,” Granholm told hundreds of energy executives at the CERAWeek by S&P Global conference in Houston, Texas.
“That means you producing more right now, where and if you can,” Granholm said to them. “In this moment of crisis, we need more supply.”
She specifically tied the dire need to increase oil production in order to help American families struggling with the high price of gas.
“We have to responsibly increase short term supply where we can right now to stabilize the market and to minimize harm to American families,” Granholm said.
That contrasted with a statement from President Joe Biden on Tuesday where he said gas prices were solely the fault of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“They’re going to go up,” he said to reporters about future gas prices. “Can’t do much right now. Russia is responsible.”
Deputy National Security Advisor Daleep Singh made similar claims about Biden shutting down the Keystone Pipeline from Canada when he first entered office.
“Keystone has absolutely nothing to do with the current supply and demand in energy markets,” Singh claimed on “Morning Joe” on MSNBC Wednesday.
“Keystone is a pipeline, it’s not an oil field. It doesn’t produce additional oil,” he added. “Even if we drilled as much as we could, the price of oil is still set globally by the demand and supply conditions.”
The same sentiment was also expressed by White House Director of the National Economic Council Brian Deese on CNBC.
“There is no amount of domestic production that we can do when we’re dealing with a volatile global commodity where the price is set globally, there is no amount of domestic production we can do to reduce or eliminate our vulnerability as a country to that volatility,” said Deese.
“The only way to do that is to the energy intensity of the economy overall, which means shifting to cleaner sources of energy,” he added.
Granholm was previously criticized in November when she responded with laughter to a question about how she plans to increase oil production.
Here’s Granholm’s statement to the media:
Gas prices and fuel costs will likely rise after Russian oil ban, Biden warns