White House Responds to More US Oil Drilling: ‘We Don’t Need to Do That’

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White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre on Thursday rejected calls from oil companies and Republicans to increase oil drilling on U.S. lands amid record-high gas prices.

Jean-Pierre was asked about why the Biden administration is pressuring oil companies to increase productivity at refineries rather than carrying out new drilling projects. Right after he took office in January 2021, President Joe Biden signed a flurry of executive orders including suspending new drilling leases on federal lands, ending the Keystone XL pipeline project, and killing federal fossil fuel subsidies.

Oil companies, she told reporters, have cut refinery capacity during the initial months of the COVID-19 pandemic and haven’t restored to those levels. Democrats and Biden say that the COVID-19-related slowdown and the Russia-Ukraine war is causing the spike in prices.

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