The White House on Thursday knocked down talk of banning Russian oil imports, warning doing so could further spike the already high price of gas for Americans after Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) threw her support behind the idea.
“Our objective and the president’s objective has been to maximize impact on President Putin and Russia while minimizing impact to us and our allies and partners,” press secretary Jen Psaki said at a briefing with reporters.
“We don’t have a strategic interest in reducing the global supply of energy and that would raise prices at the gas pump for the American people around the world because it would reduce the supply available,” she continued. “And it’s as simple as less supply raises prices, and that is certainly a big factor for the president at this moment. It also has the potential to pad the pockets of President Putin, which is exactly what we are not trying to do.”
Psaki downplayed U.S. reliance on Russian energy, saying it only accounts for about 10 percent of U.S. oil imports.
She also said the Biden administration has been taking steps to try to “degrade Russia’s status as an energy supplier over time.”