DANIEL VAUGHAN: Biden has only himself to blame for OPEC+ cuts

The energy crisis in Europe and the strength of Russia in the war in Ukraine have centered around one thing: energy. More specifically, the price of oil and the west’s need for that critical resource. The refusal of the Biden administration or Europe to become energy independent has strengthened not just Putin but every dictatorship with the capacity to drill for oil. We bolster our enemies while demanding peace.

Teddy Roosevelt is the one who remarked the goal of the United States should be to speak softly but carry a big stick. Biden talks a lot while refusing to use the biggest stick of all: American energy. That weakness allows OPEC+ to drive oil prices up, impacting both consumers and inflation.

OPEC+ announces cuts.

When OPEC+ started to threaten production cuts to increase the price of oil, Jim Geraghty at National Review noted a crucial word in the coverage: “panic.” Geraghty wrote, “CNN reported that the Biden administration is ‘panicking’ — their reporter’s words, not mine! Notice the link to the transcript! — that OPEC is about to enact a production cut that will send the price of oil soaring even further.”

The initial production cut rumors were around one million barrels a day. The Biden administration started panicking. Everyone in the administration began lobbying OPEC+ not to commit to production cuts. What was the result of that lobbying campaign? OPEC+ jumped from one million barrels in cut production to two million barrels a day.

In a follow-up, Jim Geraghty caught a language shift from the White House. Instead of “panic,” they were now “seething.” Geraghty writes, “Politico reports that Democrats are “seething” about the decision by OPEC+ to cut oil production by 2 million barrels per day.”

Geraghty correctly adds, “Well, fellas, if you don’t want OPEC+ to be in a position where it can influence U.S. gasoline prices a month before the election, you need policies that minimize the U.S. market’s dependence upon the global oil market. This means maximizing U.S. oil production and expanding U.S. refinery capacity.”

Biden cuts back on oil production.

But that’s not what the White House is going to do. Just last month, the Wall Street Journal reported, “President Biden’s Interior Department leased 126,228 acres for drilling through Aug. 20, his first 19 months in office, the analysis found. No other president since Richard Nixon in 1969-70 leased out fewer than 4.4 million acres at this stage in his first term.”

Biden is refusing to boost U.S. production or refining capacity. Instead, he’s draining the Strategic Petroleum Reserves to dangerously low levels and begging other dictators for their oil. Democrats refuse to engage American energy at any stage.

The panicking and seething White House immediately cut a deal with Venezuela. The WSJ Editorial Board notes, “The madness of the Biden Administration’s energy policy has been horrifying to watch, like a car crash except all Americans are passengers. The latest bizarre twist is that the White House may ease sanctions on Venezuela and its dictator Nicolás Maduro in an effort to increase the supply of oil on the global market.”

Biden is seeking to grant Chevron access to Venezuelan oil to ease production cuts from OPEC+. If he’s willing to immediately strike a deal with a murderous dictator, whose blood reign is responsible for sending Venezuelan migrants into the United States, there are other regimes Biden could deal with too.

Cutting a deal with Iran next?

Iran is the next obvious candidate for a panicking and seething White House to seek out. Progressives have bizarrely wanted a deal with the Iranians since the Obama administration. Iran has plenty of oil and would love nothing more than to sell it to the world.

Does the Biden administration do this? It would be a strange time to do that. Women in Iran kickstarted massive demonstrations, cutting off their hair to protest the brutal, totalitarian regime. If Biden cuts a deal with Iran, he’d be siding with and providing material support to the Iranian regime while its people seek freedom.

It’s unthinkable to cut a deal with Iran. But this desperate White House refuses to advocate for American energy independence. Biden wants Americans dependent on tin pot dictators while progressives pursue a Utopian green agenda that will never arrive.

In the meantime, production cuts and deals with dictators will likely drive oil prices higher. Americans will feel the ever-increasing grip of inflation on food and gas prices. Biden has praised lower prices under his watch but has stopped mentioning that in his speeches.

Americans get higher prices and no solutions from a White House looking to cut deals with dictators. Biden strengthens our enemies while refusing to let American energy solve the problem. The problem with inflation and higher energy costs sits in the Oval Office.