White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre touted “breathing room” created by a decrease in gas prices in her briefing Friday, despite the national average still being over $ 4 a gallon.
When asked by Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy why President Biden touted lower gas prices in remarks earlier that day, she said, “Because it’s gone down.”
Pressed that gas prices are still significantly higher than when Biden took office, Jean-Pierre noted “it has come down in a way that we haven’t seen… in over a decade.”
Jean-Pierre touted “breathing room” being provided to families because of the lower gas prices.
“You want to talk to a nurse, or a teacher, or a firefighter if having that little bit of breathing room doesn’t matter to them… Even that little bit of breathing room matters to families, especially during this summer, when people are traveling, when people are trying to do what they can for their families… this matters,” she said, crediting Biden’s work, including tapping into the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.
According to AAA, the average price for gas nationwide is $ 4.113. While this is a drop from the all-time high of over $ 5 a gallon in June, it is still a marked increase from August 2021 when gas prices averaged $ 3.255, and August 2020, when they averaged $ 2.272, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
This is not the first time Jean-Pierre has touted dropping gas prices. In July, the press secretary took to Twitter to brag about falling prices, while criticizing oil refiners for their profits. At the time, Jean-Pierre boasted that the average American driver would spend $ 25 per month less on gasoline that if prices had stayed at their June peak.
While the White House continues to take credit for the drop, critics have noted that Biden previously blamed record-high gas prices on Russia’s war with Ukraine, calling it the “Putin Price Hike.”
Fox News host John Roberts asked Biden economic adviser Amos Hochstein whether it was fair for administration officials to own the decreasing gasoline prices after spending months blaming Russia for their rise and insisting it was out of their control.
“The war in Ukraine is still raging and prices are coming down. What about the idea that this was Putin’s price hike?” Roberts asked.
Hochstein maintained Putin was to blame for the spike in gas prices, but credited Biden’s decision to tap the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and engage U.S. allies to pump more oil for the drop in prices.
“All the actions put together are having that impact,” he said. “We want them to go further, but there’s no doubt that the actions we have taken are part of the reason these prices are coming down.”