tv Energy Secretary White House Press Secretary Hold Briefing CSPAN November 23, 2021 8:11pm-9:03pm EST
and i'm heading to a food kitchen to serve meals right now. thank you for your time and effort. and i'll have plenty of time to talk to you later. [indistinct chatter] reporter: when will you answer our questions, sir? announcer: shortly after president biden's speech, the energy secretary and the white house press secretary held a briefing to discuss the president's decision to utilize the strategic petroleum reserve. reporters also asked about the pandemic and foreign affairs. this is just under one hour. >> of course. >> hi, everyone. oh, sorry. whoa. we are just excited to see you guys. i realize we are a little early. so, good afternoon, everyone. take your time. if people want to shuffle into
their seats, i know this briefing is a bit later than normal, but we wanted to make sure we had a special guest who could join us, and energy secretary jennifer granholm is here for i believe her third visit to the briefing room with us. second. okay. today, she's here to speak about the president's actions to make 50 million barrels of oil available from the strategic petroleum reserve to lower prices for the american people. we will turn it over to her. she will take some questions, and then we will send her on her way and continue the briefing after that. i will turn it over. >> thank you so much. hello, everybody. happy thanksgiving to you all. so let me just start by saying, i was -- i felt so honored to join the president's cabinet, because i know his deep desire to make sure that we are doing everything in our power to reduce burdens for real people and to give opportunity to american families.
and top of mind, of course, as you have heard today, is making sure that every american has access to affordable energy, both at home, and at the pump. and while our energy information agency, and that's underneath the doe, it predicts we are going turn the corner in 2022, the fact is, right now, that energy prices at the pump and at home are too high. this administration realizes that people are seeing this every single day, as they go to work, as they fill their carses -- their cars with gas, and we also recognize who's hurt the most from this, low income families already spend up to 30% of their monthly income on fuel, on energy, and so, any price increase for them in particular causes an understrain, but it causes a strain on everyone, obviously. so, to be really clear, obviously, the president does not control the price of
gasoline. no president does. but what we are seeing right now is this global mismatch between supply and demand. oil production is lagging behind, as the rest of the economy roars back to life after the shut down. so, we, in this administration, are leaving no stone unturned, as we examine the market to figure out what's behind the high prices, and, you know, that's one reason why the president sent a letter to the fct last week, to ask them to investigate why there's such a huge price difference between the price of unfinished gasoline and then the average price at the pump. and he explained that a little bit in his remarks earlier, but if historical averages were true, today, people would be paying about 30 cents cents less per gallon at the pump, based
upon the differential between unfinished gas and gasoline at the pump. so, he's asked for the ftc to take a look at this. but this administration has been looking at every single tool we can use to shield families from the rising cost of fuel. and that's why the funds were a very important tool for low income home energy assistance, the american rescue plan has additional funds to help families pay their utility bills this winter. and, of course, the president, today, as jen just said, has announced he's directing the department of energy to make up to 50 million barrels of oil from the spr available. we have been having these conversations with other major economies, as you have heard, and since that has been
happening over the past few weeks, we have seen oil prices fall nearly 10%, which is, again, i think, a testament to the president's leadership on looking for every tool possible to bring down the price. of course, oil is traded on a global market, and the more countries that can join us, the more the impact will be. in response to the president's announcement, clearly, the department of energy is moving to make two slugs of oil available. one is 32 million barrels from the spr, available through an exchange, and that means that oil that is taken out today will eventually be replenished with an additional premium of additional oil, when that amount is returned at a later date. and that's a tool that is very well suited to what we are experiencing right now, which is the high cost of gasoline, and
knowing that over the horizon, the projections are that the oil prices, and therefore, hopefully the gas prices, fall, so bridging that time is what the spr is being used for. and then, that means we will be accelerating 18 million barrels from congressionally mandated sales that we are moving forward. 18 million barrels for that. so, we are taking these steps because we have to meet the immediate need of affordable energy and protect families from further pain at the pump. oil prices have not been this high in seven years, and to be clear, the president is prepared to use every appropriate tool to ensure that americans have access to affordable energy today. because low income families and middle class families and working class people are suffering the most, he wants to
have a robust array of tools and he's prepared to evaluate them and use them. but as we look ahead, the situation shows we have to stop relying on one source of energy, especially from volatile sources. so we have a short-term issue and we have a long-term issue. relying upon volatile sources or relying upon fuel from countries that may not have our best interests at heart hurts the american people in the long and short run. that's why we are working faster than ever to diversify our energy, to add more clean energy. it is why the president's vision of building out clean energy sources, like solar and wind and hydro power, and geothermal and advanced nuclear, that's the answer. that's the best strategy long- term to protect american -- long-term to protect american consumers from these energy price shocks. the bipartisan infrastructure law that was just signed is going to expand our
infrastructure, related to clean energy. the electric grids, so we can integrate more sources. and that bipartisan infrastructure law, as you know, is going to help build a nationwide electric vehicle charging network. it is going to help us build those electric vehicles right here at home, with $7 billion for the battery supply chain. i was just in chattanooga yesterday, at a virtual -- not a virtual, a ribbon cutting for a factory that's producing a component of batteries for the electric vehicle, creating 300 jobs in chattanooga. that's just one tiny example of the whole ecosystem as a supply chain that will be created as a result of the bipartisan infrastructure law, and then of course, the build back better agenda. just one other thing, the bipartisan infrastructure law also invests $21 billion in demonstration projects for technologies, like clean hydrogen, and advanced nuclear
that will put people to work in every pocket of the country. and then, of course, what's really going to help us escape these energy price shocks in the long haul is the second part of the president's agenda, which is the build back better agenda, because the clean energy tax credits in that agenda will help americans save an estimated $9 billion per year in energy costs. it will make electric vehicles and other clean technologies accessible to every american, and historic investments in manufacturing and supply chains as well will put americans to work making the technologies, not just batteries, but wind and solar and vehicles. the whole array of solutions. economist say these bills together will ease inflationary pressures and grow the economy and create 1.5 million jobs every single year.
so we are laser focused on ensuring all of these benefits are realized, as we aim to achieve the biggest thing that america has ever done to address the climate crisis. our administration is deeply committed to tackling this existential threat by transitioning to clean energy while making sure that every american has access to affordable energy at the same time. thank you so much. happy to take your questions. >> i want to say, i think it would be helpful if you guys go sit in some of the seats that are open, if you don't mind, since there's open seats. that would be great. josh, why don't you kick us off? >> thank you so much for doing this. do you have any sense, domestically, we are producing about 11 million barrels of oil a day on average, down from 12 million in 2019 prepandemic. why hasn't domestic production returned in a way that would lower prices? >> this is a great question,
a really great question. we have 250 fewer oil rigs that are functioning today than we did before the pandemic. and yet, the oil and gas industry has leases on 23 million acres of public lands on and off shore, over 9,500 permits have been issued that are not being used. at the same time, the energy industry is making enormous profits. they're back up to -- above where they were before the pandemic. so they have taken advantage of that moment, the profits, to be able to engage in shareholder buybacks, for examples. but we want to encourage them to increase supply. we want supply to be increased both inside the united states and around the world so we can reduce the pressures at the pump. >> so you are saying that u.s. company versus not necessarily
returned. >> have not. have not returned to production. they have not. in fact, there are 150,000 fewer workers in oil and gas today. it was over 200,000 people who were working in the industry before the pandemic, and they have not rehired people. they have not turned on the rigs and they have not taken advantage of the permits they have on the land that they have. >> april. >> yes. madame secretary, as you talk about supply and demand and as that was part of the issue for this gasoline price and energy prices, covid is here. covid is part of life, and you talked about the prepandemic versus now. covid is expected to stay. how do you marry the distance between what's happening now with the u.s. -- with u.s. production, covid, and trying to keep prices down as prices are going up? >> april, that's a great question. this is why today's action was so important. we recognize, obviously, that
there will continue to be spikes. however, this administration has been very aggressive, obviously, about getting people vaccinated. and that's the ultimate answer. but as we know, and as the energy information agency has projected, the price of gasoline will come down. what they project to be below $3 a gallon in 2022, early 2022, and continue to come down bit by bit. what we want to do with today's action is to bring the gap -- bridge the gap between the high prices today, try to reduce it as much as we can within our power by increasing the supply we have access to, as we move through and the market then corrects itself, and hopefully increases supply from the private sector. >> a follow-up. you said your effort is primarily targeting working and low income families. what do you say to those families who are feeling the pinch right now at the pump? prices are very high. >> yeah, no doubt. this is why the president has
been really thoughtful about this. i mean, this is, you know, we have looked at every angle tool of the tools for him. -- every angle of what the tools are for him. he feels so strongly that all americans are feeling the pinch as a result of gasoline at the pumps, and short-term, we have to do everything in our power. and that's why we have the strategic petroleum reserve. but he also feels very strongly that long term, the strategy is to go clean. right now, for example, the price of solar and wind is cheaper than in most places in the country, because it is free fuel, than more traditional sources of energy. so he wants to bridge that time and double down on investing in clean, while creating jobs, but do what we can within our power to lower the cost today. >> thank you, madame secretary, for doing this. how many barrels of oil does the u.s. consume per day? >> i don't have that number in
front of me. sorry. >> some suggest it is about 18 million, which would suggest you are releasing less than three days' worth of supply petroleum -- worth of supply from the petroleum reserve. why is that enough? >> what we are doing, plus what other countries are doing, which will be less than what we have been doing, because we have the largest amount of strategic petroleum reserves, we believe will be this bridge. i mean, the energy information agency has said, for example, that in december, the -- this is what they have projected. again, it is probably more of an art than a science. projecting is subject to a lot of different volatility. but that in december, the price will be $3.19 a gallon, and then in january, continue to go down. so this is really a question about a short-term strategy, so it is not -- we will not supply all of the oil for three days.
obviously. we will be releasing it over a period of time, and we will have a certain amount that each particular tavern is releasing. but we are not saying that we will be supplying all the oil for the country, we are just going to do what we can to temper -- what we can to tamper. >> it will be over several weeks then. >> it will be. first of all, we are not going to release it all at once. it will be thoughtfully done over the next bit of time, and it will be dependent on those who bid. so, that takes a little bit of time to do. >> but listening to you just now, it sounds like you are saying price is going to hit a certain amount in december and then down into january. >> yeah. it will be over a few weeks. >> so we are looking at an -- at increased prices continuing through the christmas season. >> we are hopefully this will, because it is increasing supply and it is the largest effort ever, we are hopeful there will be a lid, although some of this
honestly has -- there has been movement on oil, the price of -- the price per barrel has dropped about 10% since this conversation started and was out there. so we are hopeful prices will be stabilized and start to move down. we're not saying there's going to be a dramatic difference. but we also are recognizing that everybody needs to, i think, be a partner in letting people know that last year was an anomaly. because demand during covid for gasoline was so low, that prices were so low. and when demand is high, the price goes up, and demand has exceeded supply, and we are doing our part to make sure we can alleviate as much of that pain as possible. >> thank you, madame secretary. so, bottom line, how soon will americans see prices at the bump -- at the pump drop? and how long do you expect that to last? >> i am not going to make a prediction about how much and how long.
what i am saying is, this is the largest amount that we have ever done, and it won't happen tomorrow. but it will happen over the next few weeks, that people will hopefully start to see the difference. >> before the end of the year, before the christmas holiday? >> i think people will start to see a tick down over the next bit. but again, we want to make sure that the gas prices at the pump are not being held artificially high for some reason. so, as i mentioned, it is unusual that the price of gas at the pump doesn't drop at the same rate as the price of unfinished gas. and people would be paying 30 cents less per gallon, if that had done that. so this is why the president is sending the letter to the ftc is -- so this is why the president sending the letter to the ftc is important. >> some call it a band-aid on top of a longer term issue. should americans brace for prices to go down for a couple of days or weeks and go back up again? >> it is hard to predict because
it is a global market, but we are doing what we can because this is a bridge to a longer-term issue. it is a short-term pinch. we want to make sure we do what we can to even out the market. while these prices come down. and in the long term, of course, the long-term solution is to build clean. and that's what we are doing. >> okay. i will just link it together. would you say this is like a run off -- a one-off, or will this become policy for the u.s.? >> this is an unusual situation because we are coming out of a s keeps supply tight? -- coming out of a pandemic, so we have a very unusual mismatch between supply and demand. the president has a lot of tools he's looking at and those remain on the table. but this is an unusual situation.
reporter: and one thing you mentioned, i'm sorry, in the speech, was that china may do more as well. i was wondering if you can illuminate what they may do. >> china will make their own announcement, bit think the point is that the president has been doing everything he can to affect the global market as well by reaching out to allies who have -- not everybody has a strategic petroleum reserve, but nobody's is as large as the united states. reporter: you addressed this in your comments, but are you concerned at all that the short-term message here for the short-term problem of please drill more oil undermines the administration with the key goal of completely transitioning the country to clean energy? and it is two different messages? >> the message is we are in a transition, and the transition does not happen overnight. we recognize we are not going flip a switch and be all clean because we haven't done the investment necessary -- the
president just signed the bill. so this is a short-term strategy to make sure that people are not hurting, and a long-term strategy to make sure that the country does not hurt into the future, is to build clean. reporter: you just mentioned, secretary, that the administration is still considering some other tools at its disposal. we saw the main one today. what are the other ones actively being considered and underwhat timeline? >> i will say the president has got a few options, and he will be the one to announce. reporter: thank you. >> thank you. appreciate it. happy thanksgiving again, everybody. sec. psaki: ok. a couple more items for you and then we will try to get around to as many people as we can in the time we have left together. yesterday cisa and the fbi urged organizations to remain individually vigilant. we have seen there is an uptick around the holidays.
be mindful of that and the advisor is that. the advisory lists best practices for organizations to implement including multi-factor authentication, strong passwords to identify i.t. employees for weekends and holidays. we urge organizations to look at this advisory and implement these best practices before heading into the holidays. in this info is available online at stopransomware.gov. today the department of health and human services began distributing $7.5 billion in american rescue plan payments to more than 40,000 rural health providers in rural communities. they have historically faced significant financial challenges which the pandemic has only made worse. these payments are a key part of the administration's efforts and commitment to keeping rural hospital doors open. also wanted to note that as we gear up for small business saturday this week, go to your local small businesses saturday.
we have good news from etsy, which represents over 5 million small businesses. the ceo, josh silverman said that at sea sellers are, quote, "well-positioned to meet customer demand." according to survey data, it's c businesses are less concerned about supply chain challenges this year than they were last year. and small business for america's future, which represents a network of small businesses, says owners are prepared to handle the increased demand of the holiday season. in addition to these strong reports, major retailers like dick's and best buy are also ready for black friday and the holiday season. today that best buy ceo said quote, "we are looking forward a , strong holiday season and believe we are strongly well-positioned for both what the customers want, and fast and convenient ways to get it." with that, josh, do you have anymore questions in. >> just two quick ones. what's the status of bark being listed as a terrorist group? sec. psaki: i don't have is an
update on that. i am happy to see if there's anything we can get to you. reporter: secondly, apple is suing the spy ware probe. the u.s. recently blacklisted nso. does the administration have any additional thoughts on these foreign companies operating in the u.s. that might be slipping in on journalists and dissidents? how do you protect the users? sec. psaki: well, i will also talk to your national security team about this. i suspect we are not going to weigh in too much given it sounds like it is a case of litigation. but i will say broadly speaking, we are trying to do everything we can to help prepare and provide guidance to private-sector companies and entities out there, many of whom are providers to customers and provide services to customers as we head into the holiday season where we see in cyber threats and ransomware attacks, to ensure customers can feel confident in the american people can feel confident. our view is that a the private sector and public sector work
can and should play together. that is something we're doing in this administration that has not done in the past. i will check to see if there is more to offer on that as well. alex. for another alex, there is another one over here, either way. reporter: i wanted to know if the united states has been in contact with saudi arabia or russia about this move and what has happened as part of those discussions? sec. psaki: we have been in touch with opec member countries. as you know, there is an opec meeting, coming up next week. we are certainly aware of that. we have been clear that our preference was producing countries to take action, but will also use our own tools to take action. meaning we were asking for an increase in supply, but also made clear in our conversations we would use our own tools as needed. as you know, we're not a party to opec plus and can't speak to them, but we know the world needs oil supplies amidst the growing demand as the world emerges from the pandemic.
opec plus has said they will release an additional 400,000 barrels and our hope and expectations is they will continue and abide by that commitment when they meet next week. reporter: the reserve was created for emergency purposes. does the president believe this is an emergency of energy's sake or more of apolitical crisis question mark sec. psaki: we are emerging from a once in the century pandemic, and the supply of oil has not kept up with demand as the global economy has come out of the pandemic. it is something we are not just experiencing here in the united states, but many countries around the world globally. the price of gas is also up around the world. i would note this is not technically an emergency relief but, he to market circumstances. the department of energy has broad authority to do exchanges. 18 million barrels of this sale is in fact congressionally mandated. the other set of barrels is
through an exchange. we don't even qualify it as an emergency, it is under the authority of the department of energy. reporter: is this being done to stave off a political crisis? sec. psaki: it is being done to use every tool at the president's disposal to lower the price of gas for american people. it follows steps he took last week where he sent a letter to the ftc asking them to look into what we see as a terning trend where oil, there is an increase in supply of oil and not a decrease in the price of gas. something he has asked the ftc to look into because that's not in line with what our expert should or what the american people's expectations should be. reporter: following up on that, we have heard from some critics say that it should only be used by supply disruptions. we heard the minority leader say that it should not be used for prices, but a collapse in times
of urgency. what's your response to those who say that this sets a dangerous precedent? sec. psaki: our response is we are emerging from a once in a century pandemic. we are hopefully we don't face this in the future and we are using existing authorities both in the form of moving up the 18 million barrels that are congressionally mandated, but also using authorities that the department of energy has. and as the white house or the federal government, we have a responsibility to do everything we can to ease the burden and cut costs from the american people. if there are other proposals out there, we would be happy to hear them, the president will use every tool to help address these costs for people across the country. reporter: quick follow-up to your earlier question, the white house is not ruling out any possible further action if the prices do not come down here. could we see that the end of the year? is that off the table?
sec. psaki: we are continuing to evaluate. obviously we have a month left in the year so i don't want to give you a timeline from here. but we will continue to monitor prices and the supply. this is a top priority for the president. go ahead. reporter: following up on these as well, to be more explicit, do you rule out releasing more from the reserves if prices go down? sec. psaki: i will not rule out options. obviously we are emphasizing a significant step the president took today. the department of energy is preparing to take, as you heard from our guest at the briefing room today. we are looking at a range of options. we feel this is an important step. something that, as the secretary noted, over the last several weeks as these discussions have happened and as other countries have announced parallel releases, we have seen the point prices go down 10%. but i don't have anything to predict, preview or rule out for you here. reporter: the japanese were quoted as saying they didn't
know when or how they would do this. so who exactly has committed, other than us, to do this? sec. psaki: a number of countries have announced planned releases including china, india, japan, i think, has the intention to. republic of korea and the united kingdom. a number of countries that either have or will, that is part of the discussions we have had. i don't want to speak of them. these are just countries we have had discussions with, to be more specific. reporter: just real quick, you keep mentioning, and others have mentioned the letter to the ftc. have you heard back from the ftc? sec. psaki: they are obviously an independent actor and we will let them speak for themselves. i would point to the fact that we sent a letter to them earlier this year, where we expressed a concern about monopolies or oral conglomeration of oil companies. something they responded to and
took action. go ahead reporter: couple of days ago, president biden was in michigan and thinking congresswoman rashida tlaib. now she is supporting legislation that would release all federal prisoners within ten years. would the president ever support that? sec. psaki: the president entered using michigan and visiting congresswoman to tlaib's district. but let me be clear, the president does not support abollishing prisons and does not support defunding the police. he thinks measures like that will make us less safe. what he does support is effective and accountable community policing and investment in public health, education, the environment, housing, community-based programs. but he knows there are steps, and he believed there are steps to make our neighborhood safer, but that is not one of them. reporter: will the president ever apologized to the acquitted
kenosha shooter kyle rittenhouse by suggesting online and on tv that he is a white supremacist? sec. psaki: let's be clear what we're talking about here. this is about a campaign video used last year that used president trump's own words during a debate, accusing -- as he refused to condemn white supremacy and militia groups and president trump as we know from history and as many of you covered didn't just refuse to condemn white supremacist groups, he actively encouraged them through history. what we have seen are the tragic consequences of that. when people think it is okay to take the law into their own hands instead of allowing law enforcement to do its job. the president believes in condemning hatred, division and violence. that's exactly what was done in that video. reporter: you are saying it was just a campaign video. it was not. the president also given interview saying that rittenhouse was part of a militia coming out of illinois. these are all things none of this was proven in the trial. rittenhouse is saying that the
resident had actual malice in defaming his character. is that what happened here? sec. psaki: the president spoke to the verdict last week. he has condemned the hatred and division and violence we have seen by groups like the proud boys and groups that that individual has posed in photos with. beyond that, i will leave it to his comments around the verdict. reporter: just one more, what message does it send to middle-class americans president biden's says he is trying to help, who are struggling to cover the cost of the most expensive thanksgiving ever, that the president is going to take a few days off at a billionaire's compound in nantucket? sec. psaki: first, that research, i don't know if you have cooked a turkey before, a 20 pound turkey is an enormous turkey. they are one dollar more expensive. the president is concerned about as is evidence by his announcement today, and as his
efforts to push forward on additional relief for the american people. but i just want to be clear that there are abundance of turkeys available. they are about one dollar more or a 20 pound bird, which is a huge bird if you're feeding a big family, something we have been working to make sure people have more money in their pockets to address it as the economy is turning back on. reporter: the president said he was sent here to look out for middle-class families who are struggling right now. what should they read into him leaving right now at a time of financial hardship for so many, to go to nantucket this week? sec. psaki: i hope you are spending time with your family. i am spending time with my family and i hope everybody here is spending time with their families. this is a time to put politics aside, spend time with loved ones and talk about what you are grateful for. i will tell you from working for this president and the past president, you are a president from wherever you are. he will do his work from wherever he is, in any vacation,
at any time, delaware, wherever he may be spending time with his loved ones. he has secure phone capabilities. he has staff traveling with him, and i think the american people can be assured that he will continue to press to lower their costs and ensure they have more breathing room. go ahead, monica. reporter: i am curious because of the president's comments about the deadly events in charlottesville being an inspiration for his decision to run for president. has he been following the unite the right trial and is there any white house reaction to the partial verdict today? sec. psaki: i am not going to comment on it until there is a final verdict, nor will the president. i will say it's been covered extensively on television so i am sure he has seen some components of it as he has gone about his duties from the oval office. but i would reiterate that the president has spoken to his concerns about the division that we have seen in the country, spurred over the last couple of
years. the allowance of violence. in some cases the fact that white supremacists have been able to run freely in the country at the moment. that is a concern to the president, one of the reasons why he ran. addressing racial injustice is certainly not something that will be done through any verdict, but it is central to his objective as president. reporter: on covid, we are seeing numbers with cases raising. 1000 people a day still dying, heading into what many experts fear could be a winter storage. is the white house -- a winter surge. is the white house shifting to, the virus is here to stay. heading into the holiday season were so many are traveling again, what can you tell people who are a little alarmed by these growing numbers? sec. psaki: first, we have encouraged people to look at some other numbers that are very encouraging, which is, last year
we had 250 million adults who were unvaccinated, because vaccines were not approved yet. high risk of illness, hospitalization, and death from covid. people were not gathering last year. this year we have cut down that number to 50 million will remain unvaccinated, given 82% of adults have received at least one dose. we now have vaccines that are accessible. free, convenient. they're life-saving. we now have vaccines for kids as people think about gathering with their children or grandchildren, et cetera. so, things are certainly different than they were one year ago. boosters are readily available. we have upscaled testing and rapid tests. i would encourage people to look at the facts that now that vaccines are readily available, something like 82% of adults in the country have taken the opportunity to get vaccinated, you are nine times more likely
to be hospitalized or die from the virus if you are not vaccinated. we are in a different place than we were a year ago. we have more work to do, but we will continue the fight against the virus. reporter: back on the strategic petroleum reserve's, the president made -- the president said this is the largest release ever larger than after katrina, , larger than after the iraq war. the energy secretary was not able to respond what impact this might actually have for drivers. so how did you arrive at 50 million barrels? where did that number come from? it is the largest release ever, why? what is the goal? sec. psaki: as noted earlier, 18 million barrels in fact already congressionally required, and the president is accelerating that, which is important. yes, it is a part of the largest release, but he just moved it forward a couple of months to provide immediate relief as we work to ensure there is a bridge. the remaining 32 million is from
of an exchange putting barrels in the market now in exchange for the future. but again, i would reiterate that we are facing a one in a lifetime recovery from a pandemic which has impacted us in many ways including the cost of goods around the world, including the cost of gas and increasing the supply, something we have asked opec plus a number of countries to do. and we will continue to press them to do. we will continue to use every tool at our disposal to do that. the president will do everything he can to lower costs. he knows the price of gas is impacting people as they go into the holiday season, as they are looking at their budgets. that is why he took the significant step today. reporter: i am still curious how 50 million was reached. i want to ask you also to follow up on the other question -- the president made the point of saying india, japan and the u.k. would release. he also said china may do more as well. was he intending to separate
china? is china not committed? sec. psaki: they announced last week they were intending to, steve. reporter: why would the president separate china when he said india and japan, south korea and the u.k. would release, but china may do it as well. was he intending to separate china? sec. psaki: he doesn't want to speak for any country, but he's had conversations with any of these countries and will let them speak for any announcements they have. go ahead, alex. reporter: did president biden bring up this topic with president xi when they spoke? sec. psaki: they did talk about it. it was in the readout we issued afterwards. they talked about the supply. i will not detail it any further. reporter: on ukraine just a bit more, any updates on how the white house is assessing the situation there? any plans for a phone call with president putin? sec. psaki: i don't have anything to preview along those lines. we remain in very close contact with our european partners. from state department, a range
of levels from the president's national security team. well i have nothing to announce or preview today, i will just remind you all that we will be spending more than $60 million in aid as part of the u.s.-ukraine strategic partnership agreement, and we have sent more than 400 within dollars over all this year to support ukraine's sovereignty. that is something we are committed to during that meeting. we have repeatedly demonstrated under this president's leadership that we are willing to use a number of tools to address harmful russian actions. and that is something we will continue to convey through direct conversations and in coordination with our european partners as well. reporter: just to follow-up on the ukraine questions, officials have called for more u.s. weaponry to protect themselves. is the administration willing to do that? will the u.s. provide military
advisers to the ukrainian government? sec. psaki: we are in close touch with ukrainian leaders, but i don't have anything to preview today. go ahead. reporter: officials have previously said they think inflation is transitory. is that still the view of the white house right now? sec. psaki: that is the view of federal reserve and outside economic experts. reporter: in terms of gas prices, you talked about bringing them down, is there a specific price per gallon at the pump the white house is aiming to get to? sec. psaki: we just want to continue to lower it, and we will look at tools to do that. because, as secretary granholm touched on, because of the discussion around the parallel release of the strategic petroleum reserve, we did see a 10% decrease in the cost of oil. it has not reresulted in a -- that has not translated to a reduction in the price of gas, hence the president sending a letter to the ftc. i would note the record oil profits and oil ceos bragging
about the profits they make from the price of gas, that sends the message something isn't quite right there. point is they are a number of steps the president will continue to push on, but i will not make a prediction of where it will be. reporter: two questions if i may. the state department is telling americans to leave ethiopia. you have to leave now. now is the time to leave. the military will not be deployed to the diplomacy occasion. sec. psaki: the state department is simply conveying directly to american citizens who wish to depart that they need to do so while commercial airlines are still functioning. keep going. reporter: you announced yesterday that 95% of federal workers covered under the president's covid vaccine requirement have complied. i am curious which agencies have the highest compliance rate and
which have the lowest? sec. psaki: the good news, if you're working tomorrow, the o.m.b. will release a chart that gives you all this data tomorrow. they just needed a bit of time to compile everything together. but they will have that out tomorrow and you will see for yourself. reporter: do you know if the data will specify how many people at each agency requested a religious exemption and how many got one? sec. psaki: there are exemptions, not just religious. there are exemptions all done through hr. i have not seen the exact chart or data so i cannot preview that for you, but we will be printing it out tomorrow. reporter: just to look ahead on the issue of gas prices, went opec plus meets next week, is the white house still calling on them to increase production to ease treasures in the longer-term? sec. psaki: as conveyed earlier, they have committed to about 400 -- let me get it right -- release an additional 400,000
barrels, i assume, and their expectations they will continue to abide by that. reporter: how worried are you that this announcement today could backfire and at them to say it we will not increase production at all? sec. psaki: i will not speak for them. they have a meeting next week. we have been in close contact with them for months now, conveying and advocating for an increase in supply, of release of supply to meet the demand. . we have also been very clear we will take actions as needed as well. reporter: a month the go, you said the president was going to lay out options to fundamentally alter the filibuster. any update on that? sec. psaki: he spoke to this at a cnn town hall a couple of weeks ago himself. i don't have anything in addition to preview. reporter: should we expect one at the end of the year? sec. psaki: we will see. we have a few more weeks until the end of the year. go ahead, april. reporter: you spoke previously
about the divisions of the nation as it relates to the rittenhouse trial verdict. what does this administration have to offer or say as we await the verdict in georgia in the mcmichael-bryan case? sec. psaki: i will not speak to any case where there has not been a verdict. and i am sure we will have a comment once there is. i will say broadly, april, of course, as we have watched over the last, not just the last year, but the last two years, we have seen violence on the streets, we have seen people lose their lives. the president spoke himself many times to the case of ahmaud arbery. we are not going to speak to an ongoing trial. i would point you to a long array of comments we have made about his horror in that case. he was asked earlier -- one of
the reasons he ran for president, as you have all heard him speak about, is to help the country together, to help address racial injustice in this country, help do that through whatever role the federal government can play. doesn't expect that to be all done in the first year, but we will continue to press forward. okay. great. francesca, go ahead. one more. reporter: thank you. president biden, you, other members of the administration have repeatedly told americans that wages are up, unemployment is down, the shelfs are being stocked and that the administration is working to address rising prices including in a speech that the president gave today. so, why does the white house think that it's messaging isn't convincing many americans that the economy is getting better? sec. psaki: i have spoken about this a bit in the past. i would say that, one, we are still in the middle of fighting a global pandemic and people are sick and tired of that. we are too.
it impacts how people are living their lives, their fears about sending their kids out the door and going to work. it is impacting the economy that is just turning back on again, and we are seeing the impacts of that whether it relates to the bottlenecks in the supply chain, or as it relates to the rise in gas prices. the important thing for the american people to know and understand is that the president has a plan to address these issues, whether it is the action he took today to take one of the steps in his view that we can take to lower the price of gas, or the anti-competition steps to address the meat conglomerates who are making record profits and raising the price of meat, or the build back better agenda that will help lower costs for working people. what you will see us do more and more is lower the contracts. we have a plan to address lower prices for the american people. we are not seeing a lot of ideas on the other side.
that is what we will preview when we come back from thanksgiving. everyone have a happy thanksgiving with your families. i will be here, tomorrow but we will not have a briefing. all right, goodbye, guys! [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy, visit ncicap.org] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2021] ♪ >> c-span's washington journal. everyday we are taking your calls live on the air on the needs of the day, and we will discuss policy issues that impact you. coming up wednesday morning, we talk about oil infrastructure and the future of amtrak with its president. then zero-emission transportation associations joel britton on how electric vehicles factor into the biden administration's clean energy goals. and a reuters' report or talks about the state of the airline industry at the start of the holiday travel season. watch washington journal live at 7:00 eastern wednesday morning , online at c-span.org, or coverage on c-span now, our new video app. join the discussion with your
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cindy marten and undersecretary of education james kvaal testified before a joint hearing held by two house education subcommittees. topics included broadband access, in-person learning, and challenges for those in higher education. this is three hours. >> joint hearing of the subcommittee on early childhood elementary and secondary education, and the subcommittee on higher education and workforce investment will come to order. welcome, everyone. i note that a forum is present . the subcommittees are meeting today to hear testimony examining the implementation of covid-19 education funds. this is an entirely remote hearing. all microphones will be kept muted as a general rule to avoid unnecessary background noise. members and witnesses will be responsible for unmuting themselves when a