Democratic lawmakers and President Biden turn to countries with hostile dictators and oppressive regimes for oil output after a decision from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to cut production. OPEC, a powerful oil cartel from the Middle East, and its Russian counterpart announced a massive production cut of 2 million barrels per day. The amount equals the most considerable reduction since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020.
In response to the cuts, Democrats have unleashed their anger, noting the importance of the oil provided to the United States by the cartel, comprised of hostile regimes led by dictators. “The President is disappointed by the shortsighted decision by OPEC+ to cut production quotas while the global economy is dealing with the continued negative impact of Putin’s invasion of Ukraine,” said the White House.
“At a time when maintaining a global supply of energy is of paramount importance, this decision will have the most negative impact on lower- and middle-income countries that are already reeling from elevated energy prices,” continued the statement.
According to the White House, Biden will order the Department of Energy to release another 10 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, meant to be an emergency stockpile. He has brought the emergency reserve to its lowest level since 1984, draining 280 million barrels from the emergency stockpile.
Democrat lawmakers are urging the president to approach Saudi Arabia again, begging them for more oil. In July, Biden last visited the Middle Eastern nation to secure more oil production. “There still is, in my view, an opportunity to persuade the Saudis that you’re making a giant mistake here — and I hope the administration will be aggressive about it,” said Senator Richard Blumenthal, Democrat from Connecticut.
“We have an opportunity and obligation to use the leverage available. We have agency here. And we should use it,” he continued.
“We have to stop acting like the suckers in this relationship and reestablish that the services we provide to these countries require them to take our legitimate interests and concerns into account,” echoed Democrat Representative Tom Malinowski of New Jersey. “And if they’re not willing to do that, then they should find another friend.”
According to a Wall Street Journal report, the Biden administration is again looking at easing sanctions on Venezuela in exchange for more oil supply. Reports indicate that the White House reportedly engaged in oil negotiations with Venezuela in May. An agreement between Venezuela’s government and the United States is expected by the end of the month.
“Just in case you haven’t noticed, our policy of sanctioning and isolating Maduro hasn’t worked,” tweeted Democrat Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy. “At some point when your policy isn’t getting results, it’s malpractice to not try something else.”
Republicans blast Dems, Biden over cozying up to dictators
Republicans criticized Democrats and the president for sacrificing American principles by cozying up to dictators for oil and urged for an increase in domestic production.
“You’ve got to be kidding me. Instead of pumping out clean oil from our own states, the Biden Admin is now easing sanctions on communist Venezuela to get its dirty oil,” tweeted Representative Andy Biggs of Arizona after the publication of the Wall Street Journal report. “This Admin continues to place America last and embolden our adversaries.”
Top GOP member on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington, also slammed the administration’s increased reliance on foreign oil caused by its energy policies.
“President Biden’s policies continue to drive the increases in gas prices that Americans will see after this production cut,” she said in a statement. “His war on American energy has allowed OPEC and Russia to regain control of the global oil market.”
“Instead of flipping the switch for more American energy production and making us energy independent again, his administration has repeatedly chosen to beg authoritarian regimes, release strategic reserves for political expediency, and surrender our energy leadership for a rush-to-green agenda,” continued McMorris Rodgers.
In the meantime, the average price of gasoline across the country increased to $3.87 per gallon. Prices have continued to rise since mid-September, while analysts warn that consumers shouldn’t expect relief to come anytime soon.