WH says opening the Keystone XL pipeline would not offset a Russian oil ban

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Responding to questions about whether the U.S. should stop importing Russian oil, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said restarting construction of the Keystone XL pipeline would do nothing to increase oil production in the short term.

Video Transcript

- On gas, you just said that you less supply raises prices. It's not in our strategic interest to reduce the supply. We also know the president as recently as yesterday talked about increasing domestic manufacturing to bring down prices on inflated items like goods. So why not apply the same logic to energy and increase domestic production here?

JEN PSAKI: Well, there are 9,000 approved oil leases that the oil companies are not tapping into currently. So I would ask them that question.

- Is there nothing that the administration can do to get those providers back to pre-pandemic levels?

JEN PSAKI: Do you think the oil companies don't have enough money to drill in the places that have been pre-approved?

- I'm just asking.

JEN PSAKI: I would point that question to them. And we can talk about it more tomorrow when you learn more.

- Do you think that opening the Keystone pipeline and having more energy-friendly policies might do that?

JEN PSAKI: The Keystone pipeline has never been operational. It would take years for that to have any impact. I know a number of members of Congress have suggested, that but that is a proposed solution that has no relationship or would have no impact on what the problem is we here all agree is an issue.

- During those years where it would take to bring down prices, as you're saying, we should just continue to buy Russian oil?

JEN PSAKI: Well again, Jackie, I think you're familiar with a number of steps we've taken, a historic release from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve--


JEN PSAKI: Well, let me finish. What we can do over time, and what this is all a reminder of, in the president's view, is our need to reduce our reliance on oil. The Europeans need to do that. We need to do that. If we do more to invest in clean energy, more to invest in other sources of energy, that's exactly what we can do to prevent this from happening in the future.

We welcome any Republicans from joining us in that effort. Go ahead.

- As long as we're buying Russian oil though, aren't we financing the war?

JEN PSAKI: Well Jackie, again, it's only about 10% of what we're importing. I've not made any announcement about any decision on that front. But our objective here and our focus is making sure that any step we take maximizes the impact on President Putin and minimizes it on the American people. And anyone who's calling for an end to the carve-out should be clear that that would raise prices. Go ahead.