President Joe Biden is showing “outright hostility” to the oil industry in the U.S. by turning to foreign countries for supply — including enemies — to reinforce America’s energy needs instead of domestic producers, according to industry insiders and experts.
According to a report by Reuters, the United States is on track to receive almost three million barrels of crude oil from Venezuela this month. Oil producer Chevron is sending more than 100,000 barrels of Venezuelan crude per day to the U.S., falling under a license from the Treasury Department.
The Biden administration authorized Chevron to expand production last year in Venezuela and resume oil exports to the United States. Venezuela, a member of OPEC, has been under sanctions by the U.S., with its oil frozen for the prior several years, because of the international outcry over the Venezuelan socialist government’s conduct.
U.S. turns to dictator-led Venezuela for oil
Experts noted the U.S. promptly turned outward to Venezuela, which is considered a hostile country to the U.S., instead of inward to our domestic energy producers.
“It’s really sad to see the way President Biden treats our domestic oil industry while asking countries like Venezuela and Saudi Arabia to produce more oil,” said Robert Rapier, a chemical engineer with decades of experience in the energy industry.
“I have never understood this outright hostility to an industry that is critically important for U.S. manufacturing, transportation, and national security,” Rapier continued. “Instead of working with the oil industry, President Biden approaches them with outright hostility, making demands upon them and criticizing them for making profits.
The oil surge from Venezuela to the U.S. seems to be part of the strategy of the White House that has been months in the making.
Earlier last year, officials from the U.S. went to Venezuela, which has long been a foe to America and an ally of Russia. The visit was meant to open a dialogue with President Nicolas Maduro about easing sanctions on Venezuela, so it can sell oil on the global market to fight rising prices.
Over the year, the president’s administration offered sanctions relief to Venezuela. It eased specific oil-related sanctions, giving Chevron the go-ahead to import crude from the country.
According to industry experts, the administration’s efforts to ramp up Venezuela’s oil experts rapidly kicked into high gear over the summer when Saudi Arabia rejected President Biden’s efforts to get the country to increase the oil supply.
“Unfortunately, when the Saudis stiff-armed the administration on production increases last summer, it left them with very few options for the type of crude many U.S. refineries need, particularly with the rapid draws for the Strategic Petroleum Reserve,” said Tim Stewart, who serves as president of the U.S. Oil and Gas Association. “So last fall, they turned to the Marxist regime for an assist.”
In October, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies, who are non-members, a coalition known as OPEC+, led by Saudi Arabia and Russia, announced they would be slashing oil production by two million barrels a day. The move has observers concerned that oil prices would further elevate already-high global energy prices.
The White House has been fanatically lobbying OPEC+ members to vote against the possible production cut and denounced the decision.
By turning to Venezuela for oil, President Biden is undermining his environmental and climate agenda.
“Venezuela has the dirtiest oil production in the world,” according to Stewart.
The World Bank published data showing the U.S. has made considerable strides in reducing flaring. Flaring is the burning of natural gas that is associated with the extraction of oil. The president has said he wants the practice to end by 2030.
Meanwhile, Venezuela is “among the worst performers, with a flaring intensity 18 times higher than that of the U.S.,” the Bank’s Global Gas Flaring Tracker Report showed.
According to the report, “the United States would be producing between 2 and 3 million more barrels of oil a day and between 20 and 25 more billion cubic feet of natural gas under the Trump policies,” stated the report. “This translates into an economic loss — or tax on the American economy — of roughly $100 billion a year.”
Frequent Venezuelan oil spills aren’t often cleaned up and are continuing to cause significant environmental damage. Experts have frequently highlighted Venezuela’s “unsafe and careless production practices” of contaminated oil, which causes damage to both the environment and the health of communities.
Venezuela is also an ally of Russia, a crucial backer of Maduro’s regime. Russia has a controlling stake in 40% of five projects in Venezuela’s operations. Venezuela also has close economic ties with China and military ties with Iran.
“Every barrel of Venezuelan crude the administration imports into the U.S. just further props up the Maduro regime and indirectly funds Russia’s war in Ukraine,” Stewart said. “Now that Venezuela is hosting the Iranian navy and has laid out a welcome mat for the [ruling Chinese Communist Party], the Biden administration is funding the four major U.S. foreign adversaries with one single and very bad energy policy decision. It is efficient but very wrong.”
“The sad thing is, this administration treats its own oil and gas industry and our workers as greater enemies than Venezuela, Russia, Iran, or China,” continued Stewart.