After achieving great progress on his 2020 campaign pledge that "I guarantee you we're going to end fossil fuels," President Joe Biden has had an apparent epiphany that those hydrocarbons are okay — even essential — so long as they come from somewhere else.
Caught in a self-inflicted dilemma with gasoline and inflation hikes killing Democrat congressional candidates at the polls, his administration is now desperately scrambling to buy all the oil they can from foreign sources, including countries that are strongly aligned against America’s interests.
After all, it’s not as if America doesn’t have enough of the stuff.
We’ve got plenty, and until recently — before Joe took office less than two years ago — we were not only energy independent, but also a net exporter.
Since that time, however, there’s a big problem. In order (somehow) to save the planet, his administration and party minions have decided it’s best to leave most of ours in the ground and buy more from OPEC+, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, Iran, and yep, even Russia.
And they love him for it.
OPEC+ Adds to Biden’s Gas Pains:
On Oct. 7, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its Russia-led allies resisted Biden White House pleadings to produce more oil and did exactly the opposite, voting to reduce production by two million barrels daily.
That cut will send world energy prices higher, also hitting pocketbooks of U.S. consumers.
As reported in the Wall Street Journal, Brent crude immediately rose back more than 2% above $93 a barrel, and OPEC+ seems to want the price to go above $100.
OPEC+ produces more than half of the world’s crude oil, with Its two biggest producers, Russia and Saudi Arabia, having grown closer in recent years. Accordingly, the OPEC+ decision represents a big win for Russia which has lost about a million barrels a day of oil production since the beginning of the Ukraine war in February.
Saudi Arabia, the top exporter of oil to the U.S., accounts for 5% of petroleum imports, and 6% of crude imports.
Joe Biden returned from his mid-July trip there begging for help containing surging U.S. gasoline prices with empty hands, and humiliatingly diminished stature on the world stage opposite the same Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman who had previously refused to accept his phone calls.
As reported in The National, a United Arab Emirates newspaper, bin Salman had wisely warned Biden during those meetings, "Adopting unrealistic policies to reduce emissions by excluding main sources of energy will lead in coming years to unprecedented inflation and an increase in energy prices and rising unemployment and a worsening of serious social and security problems."
Desperate Iran Deal Doubles Doubts:
Vladimir Putin traveled to Tehran in July for "friendly talks" with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei . . . but probably not regarding how to benefit America.
It should give no American comfort knowing that Putin’s Russia regime which holds great sway in OPEC+ membership and tightening relationships with Saudi Arabia is serving as the Biden administration’s designated negotiating representative in attempting to resurrect Iran’s return to the Obama July 14, 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), aka, "Iran Nuclear Deal," which Trump cancelled.
As noted by Reuters, the Islamic Republic's clerical leaders are keen to strengthen strategic relations with Russia against an emerging, U.S.-backed Gulf Arab-Israeli bloc that could shift the Mideast balance of power further away from Iran.
Both countries win if together they can collaboratively pressure the Biden administration to lift current sanctions against Tehran oil sales.
Revival of the deal could release an additional estimated million barrels of crude into the daily world market.
Making Nice with Maduro:
And if not Iran, what about Venezuela?
As reported by CNN.com, Biden officials traveled there to meet with representatives of Nicolás Maduro’s dictatorship in March for "talks on potentially allowing the country to sell its oil on the international market, helping to replace Russian fuel."
In exchange for sanctions relief, his corrupt Venezuelan government would presumably discuss conditions needed to hold free and fair presidential elections in exchange for a deal that would free up hundreds of millions of dollars in Venezuelan state funds frozen in American banks.
According to Wall Street Journal sources, the Biden administration is preparing to scale down sanctions on Venezuela’s authoritarian regime to allow Chevron Corp. to resume pumping oil there, paving the way for a potential reopening oil exports to European and U.S. markets.
Venezuela was once a major oil producer, pumping more than 3.2 million barrels a day during the 1990s, but the state-run industry has collapsed over the past decade because of underinvestment, corruption and mismanagement.
Ali Moshiri, a former Chevron executive who oversaw the expansion of the company’s operations in Latin America, estimates country production could reach 1.5 million barrels a day of output within two years.
Dems Turn to Strategic Political Reserves:
Given that hopes for foreign oil bailouts won’t come in time to reverse escalating pump prices in time to avoid a midterm voter rebellion, desperate Democrats are draining America’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) intended for emergencies of a less political nature.
After fervent pleas for help being rejected by OPEC+, President Biden has called for a shift from the White House's previous comments that it would end their SPR drawdown in the coming weeks.
Earlier this year, the Biden administration had released the largest sale ever from the reserve: 180 million barrels for six months beginning in May.
Then last month, after it extended that historic sale into November, the SPR has fallen from nearly 650 million barrels of oil to about 416 million, the lowest level since July 1984.
No American President has done more to make the U.S. dependent on foreign energy than Joseph Robinette Biden has in less than two years.
He could have avoided unnecessary jet lag and saved taxpayers lots of money not having to fly around the world in gas-guzzling Air Force One pathetically pleading for oil from adversaries when he could have simply used Barack Obama’s famous Oval Office desk pen and phone to reverse his own policies and release abundant supplies at home.
Larry Bell is an endowed professor of space architecture at the University of Houston where he founded the Sasakawa International Center for Space Architecture and the graduate space architecture program. His latest of 12 books is "Architectures Beyond Boxes and Boundaries: My Life By Design" (2022). Read Larry Bell's Reports — More Here.
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