Biden goes begging Venezuela again, to please, pretty please, pump more oil for him
Having been made a monkey of by the Saudis, whose OPEC+ club cut oil production by 2 million barrels a day after he pleaded with them to raise production, Joe Biden has gone back to Venezuela again, begging the longtime OPEC+ member to pump him some more oil.
As Glenn Reynolds notes in his excellent New York Post op-ed this morning:
Biden hates Republicans so much, he would rather give oil money to Venezuela and Saudi Arabia than Texas
But in fact, Biden shut down drilling, shut down pipelines and, with help from the “environmental and social governance” crowd in the financial industry, shut down capital to the fossil fuel industry.
Having done that, oil prices skyrocketed, and stickers like this started appearing on oil pumps across the country, signalling a political problem for Biden.
In hot water with the voters, Biden tried once to get the Venezuelans, currently under U.S. Treasury Department sanctions for human rights violations and state-sponsored drug trafficking, to pump extra oil for him, with his diplomatic team known as "the three stooges" dangling out the possibility that dropping sanctions several months ago to replace Russian energy imports, but to no avail, given Venezuela's pawn-like alliance with Vladimir Putin's Russia. I wrote about that here.
After that, he released the Strategic Petroleum Reserves and went hat-in-hand to the Saudis, who effectively lead OPEC+, to get them bail him out. Prior to that, he had declared Saudi Arabia "a pariah state," over an extrajudicial killing of a dissident linked to them. Not surprisingly, the Saudis laughed in his face and turned the energy spigots down instead of up.
Now he's going back to the Venezuelans again, a nation that regularly practices extrajudicial killings, a full death-squad regime, this time cutting a questionable deal for prisoner exchanges, which led to the release of the "narco-nephews" -- two drug dealers living in Nicolas Maduro's presidential household by relation to his wife -- in exchange for several Americans held hostage in Nicolas Maduro's torturous prisons on trumped up charges. That's cleared the way for Biden to start talking about dropping sanctions now in an obvious bid to get Venezuela to replace that lost oil.
According to Markets Insider, citing a report in the Wall Street Journal:
The White House is looking at relaxing some sanctions on Venezuela so that Chevron can pump more oil there, The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday, citing people familiar with the proposal.
The news comes after OPEC+ shrugged off US calls for its crude producers not to cut output, prompting a fierce response from the Biden administration.
If the proposed deal becomes reality, Chevron and other US oil companies would be allowed to operate in Venezuela again, the WSJ reported.
Economist Larry Kudlow, writing for Fox Business, was not impressed:
Meanwhile, once again, the Bidens are running to hug that famous, democracy-loving U.S. ally Nicolás Maduro, the President of Venezuela, the leading socialist, communist country in South America — for literally a couple of additional barrels of very dirty oil.
Maduro is supposed to turn Venezuela back into a freedom-loving democracy in return for which Maduro is supposed to agree to free and fair presidential elections. Mind you, that country is essentially being run by the Cuban secret service.
The real, democratically elected national leader is Juan Guaidó, the head of the National Assembly. Are the Bidens talking to him? Venezuela has been kept afloat in recent years by Russia, Cuba and China. Is this what American foreign policy should really be about?
Besides Kudlow's concerns, the other problem with lifting sanctions on Venezuela in exchange for supposedly more oil imports is that getting Venezuela in shape to export more oil is, at best, a long-term proposition. The Venezuelan oil industry has been a disaster for years, with falling production which began well before any U.S. sanctions were leveled on Maduro.
U.S. energy companies, operating locally, have shown that they can get energy production up and pumping in less than two years.
Maduro's Venezuela, filled as it is with rust buckets, contamination, pollution, lack of maintenance, Cuban surveillance agents giving orders, and untrained, red-shirted political operatives running the operation, would, under the best of free market circumstances, take years to return to their former productive glory. Oil industry experts are very skeptical that Biden is going to get the energy he thinks he's going to get from the socialist tyrant and Putin pawn.
If he even agrees...
It goes to show the lunacy of the Bidenites on energy -- begging incompetent like Maduro and other petrotyrants for oil while refusing to give American companies operating in America the time of day.
What's wrong with this picture?
Image: Presidencia El Salvador, via Flickr // public domain