Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) on Monday slammed the Biden administration’s secret oil meeting with Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro as a “huge PR boost” for the socialist regime.
“And a demoralizing betrayal of those who have risked everything to oppose Maduro & weren’t even told this was happening,” Rubio continued. “And for what?”
“The amount of oil #Venezuela can produce right now is insignificant,” Rubio said about the estimated 300,000 barrels a day the country’s state oil company produced in 2020.
Biden’s meeting with Maduro is likely a response to American dependence on Russian oil exports, which have been nixed by oil traders, impacting oil prices. Biden has refrained from sanctioning many relevant Russian energy companies in response to the Ukraine invasion:
“Biden admin looks to oil-rich dictators for help” pic.twitter.com/DeF8LiTlNf
— House Republicans (@HouseGOP) March 7, 2022
Instead of supporting American energy independence, Biden is likely seeking a substitute for Russian oil. Russia provided ten percent of global supply last year. “Russia exported about 540,000 barrels a day to the U.S. in 2021, a little under what Venezuela exported to American refineries in 2018 before sanctions shut off the spigot,” the Wall Street Journal reported:
Venezuela faces serious challenges to increasing oil production, said Francisco Monaldi, a Venezuelan who is director of the Latin America Energy Program at Rice University’s Baker Institute.
There have been no new wells drilled in Venezuela for months, he said, and to reach significant production levels Venezuela would need investments of $12 billion a year for five years. The country that was essential in providing crude to the Allied effort in World War II now pays down debt with oil to China. And Mr. Monaldi said its production is a “drop in the bucket in the world oil market.”
“This won’t help ease the pain at the pump for American consumers,” Mr. Monaldi said of the possible lifting of oil sanctions.
Other than meeting with Maduro to reduce oil prices, Biden has promoted renewable energy to address the spiking price of gas. Yet renewable energy is not a short-term solution. It has also not been proven to be a feasible long-term solution:
Pete Buttigieg: Upset with near-record gas prices? Too bad. Buy an electric vehicle.
(The average cost of an electric vehicle is over $55,000) pic.twitter.com/VjBvhx4RGd
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) March 7, 2022
On Monday, gas prices reached just six cents below the 2008 all-time record high of $4.11, according to AAA’s national average.
The 8% of Russian oil we import equates to 672,000 barrels per day.
The Keystone XL Pipeline would have provided an additional 830,000 barrels of crude oil per day to U.S. refineries AND created thousands of jobs.
“Say it ain’t so, Joe.”
— Rep. Mike Kelly (@MikeKellyPA) March 7, 2022