White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki has been accused of deliberately misleading the public by an energy sector expert and congressional candidate after she boosted the nation’s “9,000 unused permits” for drilling.
Republican congressional candidate Jan Kulmann, who worked in the energy industry for 23 years, said Psaki at a recent press briefing used “misdirection — a deliberate effort to mislead the public with a falsehood that sounds plausible.”
Here’s how the exchange went with Psaki and a reporter on Thursday (emphasis added):
REPORTER: President Biden has hosted electric vehicle stakeholders here at the White House. Would he host oil and gas producers — the people who are the most affected by the Putin price hike?
PSAKI: Well, the oil and gas — I have nothing to preview or predict for you in terms of him hosting oil company executives.
REPORTER: Is he open to that?
PSAKI: I don’t have anything planned on the schedule for that front. But I will tell you that the President has been clear that he believes they have the tools they need — 9,000 unused permits. They have the capacity they need to go get more oil here in the United States, and he’d encourage them to do that.
“In the course of defending the Biden administration’s refusal to issue new oil and gas leases on federal land, Psaki said that there are over 9,000 unused leases already. So, why issue new ones?” Kulmann wrote at the Washington Examiner.
“You might be fooled into thinking this is a valid point, but only if you know nothing about the energy industry, in which I have worked for 23 years,” she explained.
“An existing lease means nothing if you cannot get surface agreements in place or pipelines close by enough to move the oil and gas,” the Republican said. “A new lease may be more promising for short-term production than an existing lease. But whenever this issue comes up, Democrats try to make it sound like companies are just sitting on permits, irrationally doing nothing, and therefore no new ones ought to be issued.”
“In short, this is misdirection — a deliberate effort to mislead the public with a falsehood that sounds plausible,” Kulmann ripped Psaki.
President Joe Biden has canceled the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline and recently halted new oil and gas leases indefinitely.
U.S. crude oil hit a 13-year high of $130 earlier this month, CNBC News reported: “West Texas Intermediate crude futures, the U.S. oil benchmark, at one point spiked to $130.50 [March 6], its highest since July 2008, before retreating.”
“Oil is rising on the prospect for a full embargo of Russian oil and products,” John Kilduff of Again Capital said, the report noted. “Already high gasoline prices are going to keep going up in a jarring fashion. Prices in some states will be pushing $5 pretty quickly.”
The administration announced last month they’re indefinitely delaying new oil and gas drilling on federal land and other energy-related actions following a federal court ruling that blocks the administration from using their steep “social cost of carbon” estimate.