President Biden and White House officials are engaging in a rhetorical sleight-of-hand to defend the administration’s record on domestic oil production.
The Biden administration has repeatedly touted the fact that oil production in Biden’s first year in office was higher than in Trump’s first year in office.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said during Monday’s briefing that “the U.S. produced more oil this past year than in President Trump’s first year.”
Biden sounded a similar note Tuesday during his remarks announcing a ban on Russian energy imports. “Even amid the pandemic, companies in the United States pumped more oil during my first year in office than they did during my predecessor’s first year,” Biden said.
But the White House’s framing omits a key fact: while domestic oil production in 2021 was higher than it was in 2017, it was lower than it was in 2018, 2019 and 2020, federal statistics show.
The White House spin comes amid increasing Democratic anxiety about the political impacts of record-setting gas prices ahead of the midterm elections.
Biden warned Americans on Tuesday that the ban on Russian oil imports would cost American families.
“Putin’s war is already hurting American families at the gas pump since Putin began his military buildup on Ukrainian borders,” Biden said. “And with this action, it’s going to go up further. I’m going to do everything I can to minimize Putin’s price hike here at home and coordination with our partners.”
By Peter Hasson