Vicky Arias, FISM News
President Joe Biden may allow oil giant Chevron Corp. to resume drilling oil in Venezuela as soon as this weekend in an effort to soften sanctions on the country.
The move comes amidst the Biden administration’s continued lag in renewing oil and gas leases on American soil, halting construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, and delayed development of offshore drilling policies.
“The Keystone XL pipeline would have strengthened U.S. energy independence while supporting thousands of high-paying jobs in the U.S. and Canada,” Senator Jim Risch (R-Idaho) tweeted in 2021.
According to Fox News’ David Asman, the Biden White House is “trying to flood the market with oil that’s produced elsewhere, even by our enemies, and stopping oil production in the United States. It makes no sense.”
In 2020, then-President Donald Trump banned oil drilling in Venezuela with the purpose of unseating socialist President Nicolas Maduro.
According to Reuters, “the Trump administration … waged a campaign of sanctions and diplomatic measures in an effort to oust Maduro, whose 2018 re-election was considered a sham by most Western countries.”
Many countries didn’t recognize Maduro as Venezuela’s president.
The U.S. State Department wrote in a 2020 statement that Maduro, who became president after the death of Hugo Chavez in 2013, “had usurped power and was not the president of Venezuela” according to the National Assembly of Venezuela, who invoked the Venezuelan constitution in their decision. “Since 2019, more than 50 countries, including the United States, have refused to recognize Maduro as Venezuela’s head of state.”
The statement went on to claim that Maduro was the leader of a Venezuelan drug-trafficking cartel.
The Biden administration is set to give Chevron a license to drill in Venezuela if Maduro and his opposition agree to peace talks.
Republican Senator Marco Rubio stated in a press release that “the Biden Administration’s plans to ease sanctions on the Nicolás Maduro narco-regime would allow the United States to purchase oil from Venezuela and help Maduro fund his socialist regime.”
President Biden recently announced his decision to release another 15 million barrels of oil in December from the nation’s emergency stockpile, putting the grand total at 180 million barrels the president has released in an effort to reduce gas prices.
“At a time when American energy can be a stabilizing force at home and abroad, we urge caution in continuing to rely on short-term efforts that are no substitute for sound long-term policies that enable American energy leadership,” Mike Sommers, president and CEO of the American Petroleum Institute, stated in an October news release.
— American Petroleum Institute (@APIenergy) October 19, 2022