Biden administration eases sanctions on Venezuela

The good news is that the Biden administration is finally doing something about the Biden energy crisis, encouraging more oil drilling. The bad news is that the drilling will be taking place in Venezuela, not the United States. 

We saw some hints of this last month, but now it’s apparently official. 

Yesterday, in an effort to cut a deal with one of the worst socialist tyrants on the planet, Joe Biden lifted some of the sanctions on Nicolas Maduro and the Venezuelan oil giant PDVSA. The eased sanctions will allow for additional oil to flow from Venezuela and be exported to a world that is currently running out of energy at an alarming pace. 

So I assume that all of that unpleasantness over the past eight years or more is just in the rearview mirror now? Stand by for a few reminders of just who it is that we’re doing business with.

The Treasury Department is allowing Chevron to resume “limited” energy production in Venezuela after years of sanctions that have dramatically curtailed oil and gas profits that have flowed to Maduro’s government. Earlier this year the Treasury Department again allowed the California-based Chevron and other U.S. companies to perform basic upkeep of wells it operates jointly with state-run oil giant PDVSA.

Under the new policy, profits from the sale of energy would be directed to paying down debt owed to Chevron, rather than providing profits to PDVSA.

So we can’t get a new pipeline built or a new drilling permit issued in the United States, but we’re going to let Venezuela open the taps and begin cashing in on its reserves of black gold? That’s just great. One question we might ask is how we’re apparently doing business with Nicolas Maduro when we don’t even recognize him as the legitimate president of Venezuela. What happened to Juan Guaido? He’s supposedly the president that most of the world recognizes. Oh, that’s right. He spends about half of his time in jail.

This is the same Maduro regime that was holding a half dozen American citizens hostage in prison cells or house arrest for years until only recently. But now that Joe Biden finds himself in some political trouble, I suppose all is forgiven and it’s back to business as usual because oil is involved. That seems remarkably similar to the way we’re suddenly good buddies with the “pariah” Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia despite all of the unpleasantness surrounding the assassination of Jamal Khashoggi, doesn’t it?

Here’s another point to consider since it has international implications. Russia now owns most of Venezuela’s oil resources. By giving the green light to Venezuelan oil production, we’re flushing more money into Vladimir Putin’s coffers. Weren’t we supposed to be engaged in economic warfare with Russia to punish them for the invasion of Ukraine? I suppose that’s another one of those “only when it’s convenient” things, eh?

It’s too late to worry about all of that now, however. The Treasury Department already authorized Chevron to increase drilling in Venezuela.

The hypocrisy on display here is stunning. America’s oil and gas industry continues to stagnate because we’re supposed to be fighting climate change and saving the planet or whatever. But at the same time, both Saudi Arabia and Venezuela are being encouraged by the Biden administration to pump more oil. 

Does the President understand that we all share the same climate? All of that oil is going to be refined and burned anyway. 

And if we’re going to be approving more oil drilling, how about doing it here in the United States where we have the largest proven oil reserves on the planet and we can control who that oil goes to? But that might make the environmental lobby angry and we can’t have that just as we’re warming up for a presidential primary now, can we? 

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