White House press secretary Jen Psaki and President Biden blamed Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday for rising gas prices in the United States.
"Let me first say that Americans are paying a higher price at the pump because of the actions of President Putin," Psaki told reporters during a press gaggle outside Air Force One in Westworth Village, Texas. "This is a Putin spike at the gas pump, not one prompted by our sanctions.
Biden on Tuesday announced a ban on all imports of Russian oil, gas and energy to the United States, targeting "the main artery" of Russia’s economy amid President Vladimir Putin's war on Ukraine.
Biden, though, warned Americans that the ban would cost American families. Americans are experiencing the highest gas prices since the 2008 financial crisis, with the national gas price average reaching more than $4 per gallon, which is the highest average to date, according to AAA.
"We have seen since President Putin and the Russian military lined up earlier this year, troops at the border, an increase of about 75 cents on average across the country in terms of what impact this will have," Psaki continued, adding that the steps Biden has taken against Putin were in coordination with European partners and intended "to squeeze the circle around President Putin" in an attempt to change his behavior.
Biden also blamed Putin for the price of gas, telling reporters on the tarmac that gas prices are going to "go up," gesturing with his thumb.
"I can't do much right now," he said. "Russia's responsible."
Psaki on Monday said that the Keystone XL Pipeline, the construction of which Biden canceled on his first day in office, would not have made a difference in the price of gas.
Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy asked if Biden would consider rescinding his executive order canceling the Keystone XL Pipeline, prompting Psaki to ask if Doocy believes the pipeline would have an impact on gas prices.
"Well, do you think that that would maybe affect prices faster than getting the whole country off of fossil fuels?" Doocy asked.
"I actually don't think it would," Psaki replied. "The Keystone was not an oil field. It's a pipeline. Also, the oil is continuing to flow in just through other means. So it actually would have nothing to do with the current supply imbalance."
Fox Business' Brooke Singman contributed to this report.