In an Oct. 19 press briefing, Fox News correspondent Peter Doocy asked White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre a question about President Joe Biden’s request for U.S. oil companies to help lower high gasoline prices. Jean-Pierre asked Doocy to clarify his question, which he did, and then she went on to provide a roughly one-minute answer.
However, tens of thousands of Twitter users have shared and liked a video that was edited to make it appear that Jean-Pierre ignored Doocy’s question and then abruptly ended the press briefing. The altered 31-second video, which was posted on Oct. 26, had been viewed roughly 1.6 million times, as of about 48 hours later.
In the edited clip, Jean-Pierre calls on Doocy, who says to her: “Thank you, Karine. So, you’re asking oil companies to further lower gas prices. What makes you think that they are going to listen to an administration that is ultimately trying to put them out of business?”
“How is the administration trying to put them out of business?” she asks in response. “Well, they produce fossil fuels, and this president says he wants to end fossil fuel,” Doocy replies.
The altered video then added a whistling sound effect while showing alternating clips of Jean-Pierre and Doocy appearing to stare at each other without saying a word. After what appeared to be a few seconds of awkward silence, Jean-Pierre is shown thanking everyone, closing her binder and then walking away from the podium.
But that’s not how the exchange between Jean-Pierre and Doocy ended. In the unedited video of the full press briefing, which was posted to the White House YouTube channel, Jean-Pierre answered Doocy’s question. She did not end the briefing until more than nine minutes later, after taking several more questions, including additional ones about gas prices and oil company profits that were asked by another reporter.
Here’s the unaltered video of the exchange, as well as a transcript:
Jean-Pierre, Oct. 19: Go ahead.
Doocy: Thank you, Karine. So, you’re asking oil companies to further lower gas prices. What makes you think that they are going to listen to an administration that is ultimately trying to put them out of business?
Jean-Pierre: How — how is the administration trying to put them out of business?
Doocy: Well, they produce fossil fuels, and this president says he wants to end fossil fuel.
Jean-Pierre: So look, I — you kind of asked me this question yesterday. And here’s — here’s where — what we would say: U.S. oil production is up and on track to reach a record high next year. We’ve seen that from their — from when we see their profit margins. They are — they — you know, it’s record high.
And so, in fact, the United States has produced more oil in President Biden’s first year than under Trump’s administration’s first year. But at the same time, oil companies are raking in record profits while more than 9,000 approved drilling permits remain untapped by the oil industry.
There is no shortage of opportunity or incentive for all companies to ramp up production. This is something that they can actually do. It is available to them. They can do this. And also, they’re getting the profits.
And so, because they’re getting — I just showed 60 cents on the chart — more profit — right? — that they — that we’re seeing higher — more higher costs that we’re seeing that what — than what retailers are paying at the pump. They can bring that down. They’ve done it before. You saw that at the chart, in the beginning. They were able to bring prices down.
On multiple occasions, Biden has pushed for oil and gas companies to do more to further bring down the cost of gasoline — even suggesting at times that they may be price gouging.
As of Oct. 24, the average weekly price of regular grade gasoline in the U.S. was about $3.77 per gallon, according to the Energy Information Administration. That price is about $1.24 lower than the high of almost $5.01 in mid-June, but still about $1.39 more than the average price the week before Biden took office in January 2021.
As we’ve written, prices initially increased as the global economy recovered from the coronavirus pandemic, creating an imbalance between high oil and gasoline demand and low supplies caused by COVID-19-related economic shutdowns. Prices spiked again after Russia invaded Ukraine in February, which further disrupted the international oil market, as many nations restricted oil imports from Russia, one of the world’s top producers.
The price of gasoline is mostly determined by the cost of crude oil, which is set globally based on supply and demand factors worldwide.
U.S. gasoline prices started a monthslong decline in late June, spurred by a significant drop in the price of oil, which oil analysts said was greatly influenced by fears that another global recession would again reduce demand for oil and gasoline. In addition, to increase global supplies, the U.S. and other members of the International Energy Agency authorized the release of hundreds of millions of barrels of crude oil from their respective emergency oil reserves, which some have said contributed to falling prices to a degree.
Average weekly prices in the U.S. dropped to about $3.65 in September, but have gone up and down slightly since that time.
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