After appealing to several questionable sources to secure additional oil for the US, President Joe Biden is turning once again to Canada. (Anna Moneymaker / Getty Images)
By Abby Liebing April 6, 2022 at 4:39pm
As gas prices continue to take a toll on Americans, President Joe Biden has been trying various schemes to address the rising price at the pump.
But besides Biden’s desperate measures simply not working, they are also making the U.S. look laughable on the world stage.
Most recently, the president started pleading with Canada for more oil, but he still refuses to resurrect the Keystone XL pipeline, the Wall Street Journal reported.
With the onset of the Russia-Ukraine war, most of the West rushed to sanction Russian oil.
Prices went up accordingly. West Texas Intermediate (the U.S. oil benchmark) has been hovering around $100 per barrel and Brent Crude (the European benchmark) has stayed fairly consistently above $100 per barrel, Oil Price reported.
The national average for gas was $4.17 as of Wednesday, AAA reported.
With the global oil market and supplies put into a tailspin by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Biden quickly turned to the nation’s other oil exporters for extra help.
Unfortunately, asking Canada for more oil is not the most embarrassing plea that Biden has tried thus far.
In March, Biden began pandering to Saudi Arabia and Venezuela. It even looked as if he might turn to Iran (that is, if the nuclear deal is ever agreed upon), CNN reported.
Do you think that the U.S. should be energy independent?
Before the Biden administration embargoed Russian oil, Russia contributed about 8 percent of all U.S. oil imports, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported.
The Biden administration’s insistence on moving the U.S. away from energy independence (by closing down the Keystone XL pipeline, for example), meant that Biden had to start going hat-in-hand to other countries to make up for the loss of Russian oil.
At the beginning of March, Biden made the reprehensible decision to talk to Venezuela about buying oil.
Lest you forget, Venezuela is under the regime of Nicolás Maduro, an autocrat with a history of carrying out extrajudicial executions and allowing excessive use of force, arbitrary detentions, torture and general human rights abuses against anyone who is critical of the government, Amnesty International reported.
And Maduro gave Russian President Vladimir Putin assurances of “strong support” at the beginning of the Ukraine war, France 24 reported.
“[T]he administration of U.S. President Joe Biden is now roaming the globe to glad-hand whatever autocratic government might be willing to sell them more oil,” the National Post said.
At the end of 2018, former President Donald Trump sanctioned Venezuelan oil as a punishment for Maduro.
Yet Biden came knocking Maduro’s door, which doesn’t even make logistical sense, let alone diplomatic or ethical sense.
According to OPEC’s report, Venezuela was only producing about 680,000 barrels per day in February. So Venezuela doesn’t have much oil to offer the U.S. anyway.
By mid-March, the Biden administration, thankfully, paused talks with Venezuela, at least for the moment, the Miami Herald reported.
Now Biden seems to have fixed his oil hopes on Canada.
However, with the refusal to reconsider the Keystone pipeline, which had as its sole purpose the transportation of oil from Canada to the U.S., there are problems.
Though talks are ongoing, sources close to the negotiations already told the Wall Street Journal that there are no clear solutions to the problem of transporting Canadian oil to the U.S.
Officials are saying that transporting by rail is cost-prohibitive. The existing oil pipelines are already at or very near full capacity.
The Keystone XL pipeline would have been the answer to this crisis, and officials are making that clear.
“Longer term, Canadian officials and oil-industry analysts say expanding the existing Keystone pipeline network would offer a bigger, more efficient solution. The XL expansion was to carry 830,000 barrels a day of Canadian crude from Alberta to Nebraska, where the pipeline would meet up with the existing Keystone pipeline, and then on to refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast,” the Wall Street Journal reported.
However, the White House keeps insisting that this has nothing to do with the pipeline.
“While the U.S. continues to engage with a variety of producing countries to address the current supply imbalance we are seeing, the Keystone XL pipeline would have done little to nothing in addressing that supply,” a White House spokesman said.
But the Canadians are saying differently. And since they are the ones that Biden is asking for oil, their analysis of the situation has merit, despite what the White House believes.
Kevin Birn, an analyst with S&P Global Commodity Insights, told the Wall Street Journal that Canada has ample oil to meet the American need. The problem is pipeline capacity to get it to the U.S.
“There’s not a limitation in terms of resource potential,” Mr. Birn said. “There’s a limitation of capacity.”
Canada’s leadership is glad that Biden is finally turning to them for oil.
Jason Kenney, premier of the province of Alberta, where most of Canada’s oil lies, has criticized Biden for even talking to the Saudis and Venezuela.
“We’re pleased to hear that there are discussions around enhancing North American energy security,” Kenney’s spokesman, Justin Brattinga said. “Instead of going cap in hand to the Saudis, Iranians and Venezuelans to replace Russian energy, instead of replacing dictator oil with dictator oil, come to your liberal democratic friends and allies in Canada.”
Biden has really overcomplicated the whole situation.
First, he turned to dictators for oil, making nonsensical pleas.
Now he has turned to Canada, which is a decent idea, but he still is holding out on the Keystone pipeline, which then makes that good idea impossible.
Biden has to try every bad solution before he finds a reasonable one. But there’s not even a certainty that he will stumble into a reasonable solution, even though Canada is trying to offer it to him on a gold platter.
Meanwhile, every American is watching the dollars add up at the pump. The little sticker of Biden saying “I did that” has never been truer.