Banning Russian Oil Only To Import It From Iran And Venezuela?

You’ve forgive us if nothing about this latest news comes off as fixing the problem of the Russian invasion of Ukraine (or the sky-high prices at the pump which are only partially due to the war).

President Joe Biden announced his decision to ban oil imports from Russia at the White House on Tuesday, just days after his administration argued against the idea.

“We will not be part of subsidizing Putin’s war,” Biden said, painting the decision as a moral one after Russian president Vladimir Putin escalated his war in Ukraine.

Biden’s ban was announced as he faced growing pressure from a bipartisan coalition of members of Congress to pass their own bill to ban Russian oil imports.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki and other Biden officials spent days defending their decision not to ban oil imports from Russia, warning it would only enrich Putin by raising gas prices.

“It also has the potential to pad the pockets of President Putin, which is exactly what we are not trying to do,” Psaki said during a press briefing Thursday when asked why Biden had not announced a ban on oil imports from Russia.

In recent days, many oil companies already announced plans to eliminate Russian oil from their portfolios. Even Shell announced their decision to stop purchasing crude oil on Tuesday after purchasing a significant amount of discounted Russian crude oil days earlier.

This happened on a day when gas prices hit an all-time high in American history

The national average price of gasoline in the U.S. today broke the existing record, rewriting the all-time high to today’s $4.104 per gallon, according to GasBuddy, the leading fuel savings platform saving North American drivers the most money on gas. The previous all-time high was set back in 2008 at $4.103 per gallon, just ahead of the U.S. Great Recession and housing crisis. The national average price of diesel is also nearing a new record, now at $4.63 per gallon, likely to break the record of $4.846 per gallon in the next two weeks.

In addition to setting a new all-time high, the national average is seeing its largest ever 7 day spike: 49.1 cents per gallon, eclipsing the 49.0 cent weekly rise after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Many gas price records have been broken due to Russia’s war on Ukraine, which has pushed Western countries to impose severe sanctions on Russia, curbing Russian exports of crude oil to the global market.

On Saturday, the U.S. national average gas price surpassed $4 per gallon for the first time since 2008, and Friday’s spike alone came close to the record daily rise of 18 cents per gallon, increasing nearly 16 cents per gallon in one day. Diesel prices, however, did break records on Friday, as diesel soared to its largest daily gain ever: 22.2 cents per gallon, 6 cents higher than the previous record from 2013.

“Americans have never seen gasoline prices this high, nor have we seen the pace of increases so fast and furious. That combination makes this situation all the more remarkable and intense, with crippling sanctions on Russia curbing their flow of oil, leading to the massive spike in the price of all fuels: gasoline, diesel, jet fuel and more,” said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy. “It’s a dire situation and won’t improve any time soon. The high prices are likely to stick around for not days or weeks, like they did in 2008, but months. GasBuddy now expects the yearly national average to rise to its highest ever recorded.”

Prices are now so high that dumping Russian oil imports probably doesn’t significantly make things worse, though almost assuredly it won’t make anything better.

It ought to be recognized, though it obviously isn’t, that domestic supply of oil was more than sufficient a year ago to meet demand. Mention that to Biden’s press flack Jen Psaki and this is what happens…

What she says are facts are evasions. She’s talking about 9,000 unused oil leases, but the vast majority of those don’t test as productive. And for her to say Keystone XL isn’t an oil field and the oil comes in from Canada without it, which is breathtakingly dishonest – transportation costs are far cheaper through Keystone XL than by train or tanker truck, which leads to higher prices at the pump.

They’re in effect sanctioning domestic oil and gas producers with dishonest offshore lease bans, onerous regulations not voted on by Congress and woke aggressions coming out of the ESG movement which are hindering Wall Street and the banks from financing new drilling. So much so that the domestic energy sector is choosing not to expand drilling and exploration, instead riding the higher prices so as to pay off investors and push down debt levels within the industry.

They’ve been treated as prey, so they’re acting accordingly. Because political risk to drill in America is worse than it is in Guyana, Nigeria and Iraq. At least in those places you can find some tin-pot generalissimo that you can grease, and they’ll get out of your way. Here, you have to deal with leftist nuts already bought off by the environmental movement, which is in turn bought off to some degree by funding from our enemies.

This wasn’t a problem when you had an energy-friendly president in the White House, and the effect was that there was no war in Ukraine, just a low-level aggression by Russian proxies in the Donbas region. It was when Biden suppressed some three million barrels a day of domestic production at a time when the economy was recovering from COVID lockdowns that Russian coffers filled up and fueled Putin’s ambitions next door – and coupled with the example of our Afghanistan pullout and the knowledge that America was too weak to stop him, he went in.

And these guys would rather improve relations with, and buy oil from, the regimes in Venezuela and Iran, which brutalize and impoverish their people while using those petrodollars as fuel for further corruption, repression and terrorism, than simply return to Trump’s policies.

They think killing domestic oil and gas is a political prerequisite for getting the Green New Deal economy they want. What they don’t realize is that you’ll always need oil even if not a single car runs on gasoline again; those electric cars the Left has such a fetish over are made largely of plastics, and plastic comes from petroleum. So do countless other products. And if gasoline and diesel were to disappear from the economy it’s assured that even more uses of petroleum products would come to the fore. So essentially what they’re doing is tilting at windmills here.

And making money for enemy regimes instead of our fellow Americans. Do you really care if it’s Maduro or the mullahs instead of Putin?

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