A former Keystone XL pipeline worker said the energy industry "tried to warn" President Biden against policies hindering U.S. oil and gas production – policies the worker said have caused the country's growing energy crisis.
"We tried to warn this administration back when they canceled the Keystone Pipeline" that it was also "canceling national security, foreign policy and energy," Neal Crabtree told Fox News. "They all kinda go hand-in-hand."
The average price for a gallon of gasoline in the U.S. hit a record high this week, as oil neared $130 per barrel. Biden announced Tuesday that he was banning Russian oil and gas imports, which he said targets the "main artery of Russia’s economy."
Biden said the decision will further increase already-high domestic gas prices and warned fuel companies that it is "no time for profiteering or price gouging." He blamed Russian President Vladimir Putin for rising gas prices in the U.S.
"Since Putin began his military buildup on Ukrainian borders – just since then – the price of gas at pumps in America went up 75 cents," he said. "And with this action it’s going to go up further."
But Crabtree said rising gas prices go beyond Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
"Even if we can fix the Ukrainian problem, the prices are still going up," he said. Biden's "policies have everything to do with the rising fuel prices in this country today.
"It has nothing to do with the war in Ukraine," Crabtree continued.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the administration isn't against increasing domestic production and instead blamed oil companies.
"Federal policies are not limiting the supplies of oil and gas," Psaki said Monday.
"There are 9,000 approved drilling permits that are not being used, so the suggestion that we are not allowing companies to drill is inaccurate," she continued. "I would suggest you ask the oil companies why they’re not using those if there’s a desire to drill more."
In response, Crabtree told Fox News: "There's no energy company [that's] gonna spend the money to develop a new lease if they can't build a pipeline to move the project."
Biden canceled the Keystone XL Pipeline his first day in office.
Biden administration officials discussed "energy security" in Venezuela, and the president is considering a trip to Saudi Arabia. Psaki also didn't rule out importing Iranian oil if a nuclear deal is renewed.
"When I’d first seen the reports of the president going to places like Iran and Venezuela to ask for more oil output, I said ‘this is fake news, he hasn’t gone this far off the rocker,’" Crabtree told Fox News. "But I guess that's the path they want to take."
"Why not invite North Korea?" he continued. "Maybe they’ve got a few barrels of oil that they can spare?"
Crabtree said there will be no end to rising gas prices "as long as Biden is using this ‘any way but an American way’ when it comes to fossil fuels."
"We've got to get the administration's foot off the throats of the energy companies and let them do what they do best," he added.
"We're not saying don't build windmills or solar farms. Start building them, have fun," Crabtree told Fox News. "But right now, this country runs on oil and gas, and it makes no sense for the Americans to suffer higher prices for it."