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Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said Wednesday that “all options are on the table” during a discussion about oil prices after MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle asked if President Biden would consider “working something out with Iran.”
Ruhle asked Buttigieg if Biden would consider activating the Keystone XL Pipeline or “working something out with Iran” during MSNBC’s “The 11th Hour” on Wednesday.
“Look, the president has said that all options are on the table. But we also need to make sure we’re not galloping after permanent solutions to immediate short term problems where more strategic and tactical actions in the short term could make a difference,” he responded.
Political commentators, personalities and politicians criticized Buttigieg on Twitter for the comments. Critics called for American energy independence as the Russians continue to invade Ukraine.
“Using North American oil to decouple economic dependency on the resources of hostile nations is a long term solution,” Rep. Ralph Norman, R-S.C., said in response to the clip. He was one of several lawmakers to weigh in.
Others criticized a different part of Buttigieg’s statement, saying that, “we should be seeking permanent solutions.”
Democrats and Republicans have called for Biden to ban oil imports from Russia. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-CA., said Thursday that she was “all for” banning Russian oil. Rep. Lisa Murkowski, R-AK., and Rep. Joe Manchin, D-WV., introduced bipartisan legislation Thursday that would ban the importing of Russian oil.
Murkowski told Politico that banning Russian oil was the most significant tool the U.S. has left to throw at Russia. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki was asked about what it would take to ban imports from Russia during Thursday’s White House press briefing.
“What would need to happen in order to prompt a final decision on an oil ban?” NBC’s Kristen Welker asked.
“I don’t know if we look at it exactly through that prism … We have not held back in taking significant, historic steps that are crippling the Russian economy right now,” Psaki responded.
“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,” she added.
CNN’s Kaitlan Collins asked if the administration has moved any closer to banning oil coming from Russia and Psaki said that she doesn’t have an assessment on it. Fox News’ Jacqui Heinrich also pressed Psaki on Russian oil imports.
“During those years where it would take to bring down prices as you’re saying, we should just continue to buy Russian oil?” Heinrich asked.
“Well, Jacqui, I think you’re familiar with a number of steps we’ve taken. A historic release from the strategic petroleum reserve,” Psaki said. “What this is all a reminder of in the president’s view is our need to reduce our reliance on oil. 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 need to do to prevent this from happening in the future.”