DANIEL VAUGHAN: Hey Biden, call Canada, not the Iran, Venezuela, or Saudi Arabia

Oil prices continue heading towards record highs. Those prices are likely to run higher as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Congress seem set to ban the Russian import of oil to the United States. Instead of seeking to expand US production of energy, the response of the Biden White House is to go, hat in hand, to despotic regimes and beg for oil.

The United States of America is the most powerful, economically prosperous country. Instead of leaning into those advantages, the Biden administration leads from behind. America could be an independent energy-producing and exporting country. But our leadership that cannot see past the green lobby keeps us in the dark.

Canada wants to help.

We could solve the oil price and supply problem by doing simple things. First, call up our friends up north. Canada is ready and willing to supply oil in the United States. Canada is also in lockstep agreement with the United States on Russia and Ukraine.

Canada’s Alberta energy minister, Sonya Savage, said, “Alberta has some spare pipeline and rail capacity and can move more oil to the United States.” She added, “We are the solution, not Venezuela and others.”

As a result, that’s one ally ready and willing to step into the fight to cripple Russia’s energy strengths. The United States could easily pick up the phone and talk to other neighbors like Mexico. Our diplomatic relations can help prevent Russia or Venezuela from stepping into these voids.

Savage’s references to “Venezuela and others” were on purpose. Biden is negotiating with despots instead of picking up a phone and talking to our Canadian friends about the oil supply.

Biden negotiates with despots.

Over the weekend, the Wall Street Journal reported that the United States had sent an enjoy to Venezuela. The offer was simple: the United States would gain access to Venezuelan oil. In return, the US would drop sanctions on the Maduro regime. American policy has sanctioned Venezuela and the Maduro government for widespread human rights abuses.

Biden has not stopped with Venezuela.

As I wrote this past week, Biden has continued ongoing negotiations with Iran, with China and Russia joining into those talks. Subsequently, a new nuclear deal with Iran could open the doors to Iranian oil hitting the markets.

Additionally, Axios reports that the Biden White House was weighing a trip to Saudi Arabia. Axios called it a “hat-in-hand trip” due to the severity of the global energy crisis.

These trips and negotiations are not getting made out of a position of strength but weakness. Biden has waited until the world is in an energy crunch and needs these countries before engaging. He has steadfastly refused to engage our allies. 

The lone policy on oil that Biden enthusiastically took up was canceling the Canadian Keystone XL pipeline. Alberta Premier Jason Kenney called that decision a “gut punch” and an “insult.”

We need allies and domestic solutions.

Nothing about the Biden administration’s energy policy makes any sense. They can claim that negotiating with countries like Venezuela, Iran, or Saudi Arabia builds a larger coalition against Russia. There’s some sense to that.

But the energy crisis we’re facing is global. Engaging allies to get them on board first — the easy, low-hanging fruit — should be a top priority. Instead, Biden focuses his efforts on failed efforts from the Obama years of engaging Iran.

Putin’s war in Ukraine is shrinking Russia’s influence day by day. Putin’s waning power internationally combined with US sanctions could do a lot to break authoritarian regimes.

At the bottom of the Biden administration’s failure here is a crucial handicap. Like most Democrats currently, Biden is blinded by the Green New Deal lobby. These environmental groups oppose all fossil fuels and nuclear power. The irony is that domestic natural gas, oil, and nuclear power are keys to a clean environment and energy independence.

Biden is between a rock and a hard place. Inflation is pushing higher with oil prices and calls to ban Russian oil pressures both. Fixing the US energy problem is not easy, but moving production to domestic sources is vital for long-term national security.

The alternative to this only empowers dictators like Vladimir Putin. Russia waited to move on Ukraine until it could exert near-maximum pressure on other countries via energy prices. The increasing costs of oil continue to benefit Russia in the process.

American energy independence is vital to its national security. If the United States can free itself from supply issues surrounding oil, rare earth minerals, or products like semiconductors, we are geopolitically free.

Biden should focus on the solutions here instead of negotiating with more authoritarians like Putin.