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WH Press Secretary Confirms Biden Is Still Committed to Ending Fossil Fuels As Gas Prices Soar

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As gas prices soar across the country, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre insists that President Joe Biden is committed to transitioning away from fossil fuels.

Fox News’ Peter Doocy asked why Biden is not trying to get domestic companies to drill for more oil in the U.S.

Jean-Pierre noted that the country is still seeing its “highest levels of domestic production,” but part of the higher prices is a result of decreased refinery capacity in the country.

Still, Doocy asked, “Why not drill more here in the U.S., though?”

“We don’t need to do that. What we need them to do is, with the oil that’s out there, we need them to refine that oil so that the capacity can go up, and then prices would go down,” Jean-Pierre responded.

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Doocy also asked on Thursday, “I know the President once said that he was going to end fossil fuels. Is that now off the table?”

“No, we are going to continue to move forward with our clean-energy proposal, our climate change proposal,” the press secretary responded.

When asked if lowering gas prices or addressing climate change is the priority for Biden, Jean-Pierre said, “First of all, you can do both at the same time.”

“What we’re trying to deal with right now is how do we lower costs for American families. And one of the things that we are seeing right now with oil refineries is that they are using this moment, there is a war in Ukraine, to actually make a profit,” she continued.

The United States’ refining capabilities are sharply down from pre-pandemic levels, by roughly 900,000 barrels per day.

That decrease is due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which led to refineries being shut down as demand plummeted. The Associated Press notes that some refineries are expected to boost their abilities.

However, some are hesitant to increase their refining capabilities due to concerns about the push to transition to clean energy which will lead to a decreased demand for gas over time.

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During the Oct. 2020 presidential debate, Biden said, “I would transition away from the oil industry, yes.”

“The oil industry pollutes, significantly. … It has to be replaced by renewable energy over time,” he continued.

And during a press conference last month, Biden said, “When it comes to the gas prices, we’re going through an incredible transition that is taking place that, God willing, when it’s over, we’ll be stronger, and the world will be stronger and less reliant on fossil fuels when this is over.”

Other officials have also spoken about transitioning away from fossil fuels and encouraged Americans to buy electric cars.

So, the White House wants refineries to increase their productivity, but also wants the country to transition away from gas which would hurt the refinery companies’ profits and could lead to the end of their business model, which is probably adding to their reluctance to ramp up their refining.

Setting aside the merits of transitioning to green energy, the current strategy does not seem like one that will be successful in bringing prices down.

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