Joe Biden is back in the news, but not for his 2020 campaign. Instead, he has offered a bizarre and misguided argument that America should sell oil to China as part of an effort to stop Chinese dominance over global trade. The former Vice President’s remarks are just the latest example of how foreign-policy thinking on Trump’s team tends towards being unpredictable and inconsistent at best.
On March 18, 2015, men labor at an oil pump in Lagunillas, Ciudad Ojeda, Zulia, Venezuela.
photo courtesy of Reuters/stringer
President Biden is attempting to keep rising oil costs under control, with the price of a barrel closing at more than $123 on Monday. It says a lot about this administration that it’s looking for support from Vladimir Putin’s Venezuelan client and our alienated Saudi allies rather than from American shale producers or Canadian partners.
Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, said on Monday that the administration had dispatched officials to Caracas to discuss “energy security.” The administration may relax restrictions on Venezuelan oil to compensate for lost Russian supplies, which purchasers are avoiding due to the threat of penalties.
The Trump administration sanctioned Venezuela’s national oil corporation PDVSA in early 2019 in an effort to put pressure on Nicolas Maduro’s cruel government, which has impoverished the country, persecuted political opponents, and displaced millions of people throughout the region.
Venezuela, on the other hand, continues to pump about 800,000 barrels per day with the support of Russia and Iran. Venezuela has reciprocated by backing Mr. Putin’s assault on Ukraine and decrying the West’s “economic attack” on the Russian people.
Relaxing Venezuelan sanctions would be a strategic error that would present Mr. Maduro with a financial lifeline while doing nothing to alleviate the current oil price surge. Venezuelan oil corporations claim they can boost output by hundreds of thousands of barrels per day in eight months. By then, the conflict in Ukraine may have ended.
According to Axios, the President is planning a personal trip to Saudi Arabia to mend fences with the Crown Prince, whom Mr. Biden mocked when he first entered office. At the same time, the administration has been attempting to reach out to Iran, which has supported the Houthis in Yemen, who are fighting the Kingdom and the UAE.
The Saudis and the United Arab Emirates seem to be the only OPEC members with spare capacity, but they have refused to raise production despite Mr. Biden’s demands. One reason is that they don’t want to upset Mr. Putin, who has become a Middle East power broker. Mr. Biden should never have angered the Saudis, but we’d be far better off if he just pushed for more domestic oil production.
Shale producers can double their output twice as rapidly as Venezuelan oil corporations, with earnings going to American workers and stockholders instead of another dictatorship.
Will Biden defy his party’s green lobby, according to a Journal editorial? Sputnik/Reuters/Getty Images images Mark Kelly’s composite
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The print issue of the March 8, 2022, was published.