President Joe Biden announced a ban on Russian oil imports amid the ongoing Ukraine invasion. To offset the ban’s effect on energy prices, Biden is now considering a deal with Iran and Venezuela – two countries earlier sanctioned by the United States.

Biden announced the Russian oil embargo on March 8. He claimed that the prohibition serves a two-fold purpose – attacking “the main artery” of the Russian economy and strangling the country’s war effort against Ukraine. “Americans have rallied to support the Ukrainian people and made it clear [that] we will not be part of subsidizing [Russian President Vladimir] Putin’s war,” said Biden.

The president acknowledged the impact of higher gasoline prices on American families, warning that these price increases would continue in the immediate future.

“Putin’s war is already hurting American families at the gas pump since [he] began his military buildup on Ukrainian borders – and with this action, it’s going to go up further. I’m going to do everything I can to minimize Putin’s price hike here at home [in] coordination with our partners.”

To this end, Biden has partnered with Iran and Venezuela. Both Iran and Venezuela are founding members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, which was established in September 1960.

Venezuela and its socialist leader, President Nicolas Maduro, are strong allies of Russia. It refused to vote on a United Nations resolution condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine alongside Latin American countries Cuba and Nicaragua. The U.S. and Venezuela ended all diplomatic ties in 2019 following the Trump administration recognizing opposition leader Juan Guaido as the interim president. Despite claims of an illegitimate election in the country, Maduro was found to have won the polls.

Meanwhile, the U.S. has imposed various sanctions on Iran stemming from its nuclear program and terrorist activities backed by the Islamic republic. But based on reports, Biden is ready to lift these sanctions against Iran in order to obtain a much-needed oil supply.

Keystone XL Pipeline a better option

Writing for the New American, freelance journalist James Murphy floated the idea of reviving the Keystone XL Pipeline to resolve the oil crisis. He asked: “Why not take the chains off our own energy sector?” 

Murphy referenced Biden’s March 8 remarks, where the president partly blamed the U.S. energy sector for higher pump prices. The journalist pointed out that Biden himself tied the hands of the domestic energy sector on the issue of the pipeline, thanks to his executive orders that forbade further work on the pipeline and banned the exploration of new oil deposits on federal land.

“They have 9,000 permits to drill now. They could be drilling right now, yesterday, last week, last year. They have 9,000 [permits] to drill onshore that are already approved,” said Biden.

However, American Petroleum Institute CEO Mike Sommers slammed Biden and his administration for their failure to understand how the process works. “There’s a fundamental misunderstanding of the administration as to how the process actually works,” he said.

“Just because you have a lease doesn’t mean there’s actually oil and gas in that lease. There has to be a lot of development that occurs between the leasing and then ultimately permitting for that acreage to be productive. I think that they’re purposefully misusing the facts here to their advantage.”

Ultimately, Murphy noted that Biden’s refusal to lift restrictions on the Keystone XL Pipeline aligns with his supposed push for clean energy. He referenced another remark from the president that said: “Loosening environmental regulations or pulling back clean energy investment … will not lower energy prices for families.”

The journalist concluded: “Biden offers no immediate assistance to struggling consumers at all. Instead, his minions negotiate potentially dangerous deals with the likes of Venezuela and Iran, and offer pie-in-the-sky platitudes about energy technologies that are simply not capable of keeping up with consumer demand.”

No comments:

Post a Comment