President Joe Biden’s administration is moving at home and abroad to try to address concerns about rising energy prices slowing the nation’s recovery from the pandemic-induced recession.
Watch the briefing in the video player above.
National security adviser Jake Sullivan on Wednesday called on the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to move faster to restore global supply of petroleum to pre-pandemic levels as gas prices in the U.S. rise and the administration faces increasing pressure about inflation.
Speaking at the White House briefing Wednesday, press secretary Jen Psaki said the request to OPEC nations wasn’t one requiring “immediate response,” but rather it was meant as a “long term engagement… as we work to address not just anti-competitive behavior in the United States, but in the global marketplace as well.”
“We know that they have supply that’s available that can be accessed. And that’s what we’re really referring to here,” Psaki said.
Gas prices are up about a $1 from than a year ago as Americans hit peak summer driving season and return to roads after pandemic shut-ins. Rising prices, both at the pump and across other consumer goods, have become a potent talking point among Biden’s GOP critics.
The press secretary also doubled down on the White House response to the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan as the Taliban continues to make rapid gains in the country.
President Joe Biden insisted Tuesday that the U.S. troop withdrawal will be complete at the end of the month as planned and there will be no other military action or support for the Afghan forces other that the limited airstrikes already going on. He said it is up to the Afghan forces to protect their country.
On Wednesday, Psaki reiterated that point. “The Afghan National Security Defense Forces have the equipment, numbers and training to fight back. They have what they need. What they need to determine is if they have the political will to fight back and if they have the ability to unite as a as leaders to fight back,” she said.
Psaki said the White House is “closely watching the deteriorating security conditions in parts of the country. But no particular outcome, in our view, is inevitable.”