Barrasso: Easing Sanctions on Venezuela is Bad Energy Policy for America

October 25, 2023

Click here to watch Senator Barrasso’s remarks.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), spoke on the Senate floor about the Biden administration’s decision to ease oil sanctions on Nicolas Maduro’s brutal socialist regime in Venezuela.

Senator Barrasso also spoke about a report he issued demonstrating how the Democrats’ reckless tax and spending bill moves the United States further away from energy independence and towards energy and mineral dependence on OPEC, China, and Russia.

Senator Barrasso’s remarks: 

 “I come to the floor today to talk about the need for more American energy.

“Joe Biden’s policies, they’re destructive to our nation.

“And that is because he continues to put liberal priorities first, and America last.  

“So last week, the Biden Administration agreed to ease oil sanctions on Nicolas Maduro’s brutal socialist regime in Venezuela.

“Let’s be clear. I want to be clear about what’s going on here.

“Venezuela gets to produce more oil.

“President Biden is putting Venezuelan oil production ahead of American oil production.

“He’s prioritizing Venezuelan energy workers over Wyoming and American energy workers.

“Our energy workers at home are rightly asking: “When is Joe Biden going to ease the sanctions that he has put on American energy production?

“Because since day one, American oil, American natural gas, and American coal producers have been in the president’s crosshairs.

“He refuses to change course even when gas prices skyrocketed.

“Well, Biden certainly has never encouraged more American production like he has around the world in Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, even Russia at one point.

“Instead, Joe Biden has raided the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, and he did it to deflect blame from high energy costs at the gas pump.

“That was in the run-up to the midterm elections.

“So he used our energy stockpile, emergency supply for his own political gain and it is disgraceful .

“America’s emergency reserve is now 45 percent lower than it was when Joe Biden entered office. Much lower than it was when he was Vice President.

“Our emergency supply is actually at a forty year low, in terms of the energy supply we need for emergencies.

“So the Hamas terrorist attack against Israel, there is more uncertainty in global oil production, and our own stock piles here at home are dangerously low – and this could be the time when we need it the most.

“So last week the administration came to the conclusion, well, maybe we ought to try to fill it up again.

“So he’s announced the purchase of 6 million barrels of oil to help replenish our emergency supply.

“6 million barrels is a drop in the bucket compared to the 290 million barrels that the president has already drained.

“The President and his administration’s plan is too little too late – and it comes at too high of a price.

“President Biden is offering  $79 a barrel for these six million barrels of oil to help start to replenish the emergency reserve.

“The price of oil is now $90 a barrel.

“So, Joe Biden is going on, once again, bended knees to dictators, begging them to produce more oil and sell it to the United States.

“Maybe he believes this begging will lower oil prices and increase his abysmal approval ratings.

“But turning to dictators is not a way to govern and it’s not a way to focus on America’s national interest

“Joe Biden continues to turn his back on America’s workers, American families, and once again he’s putting liberal politics first and American energy workers and the American public last.

“Maduro isn’t Joe Biden’s first date with a dictator. Oh, no. He’s been coddling dictators and he’s making it a habit.

“He tried to placate Vladimir Putin by choosing not to impose sanctions on Russia’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline to Germany.

“What the president got in return for this appeasement was more Russian aggression and Russia attacking Ukraine.

“While the president was draining our Strategic emergency oil reserves, he was looking for ways that the Ayatollah in Iran could sell more oil.

“It is astonishing.

“He foolishly refused to enforce maximum pressure sanctions against Iranian oil.

“And this refusal allowed Iran to line its pockets with $80 billion from selling oil exports.

“I wonder what they could have used that money for. Well let’s look.

“The President continues to kiss up to Iran.

“He cut a deal to send $6 billion in sanctioned funds to Iran.

“In return, Iran was able to expand its support and financing of terrorist groups like Hamas.

“Today, the world is witnessing the devastation and the violence inflicted by Iranian backed and funded terrorism.

“Hamas’s unprovoked attack against Israel killed thousands of civilians – including children – with at least 33 Americans dead and more missing.

“President Biden has not learned from his mistakes.

“Because he continues to repeat the mistakes over and over again.

“This appeasement by Joe Biden will not work.

“It didn’t work with Russia.

“It didn’t work with Iran.

“And it’s not going to work with Venezuela.

“President Biden refuses to do what we know will work, what will work here at home.

“And that’s to unleash American energy.

“The President’s administration has used every trick in the book to smother American production of oil, gas and coal.

“It’s had an extreme, negative impact on families all across America and on our nation’s economy.

“Before the COVID pandemic, the Energy Information Administration forecasted that here in America, that we would produce 14 million barrels every day this year. 14 million barrels of oil a day.

“Through June of this year, due to Joe Biden’s attacks on American production, production is running way, way behind what is anticipated and what we need as a nation.

“As a result, we are turning to countries for the 1.4 million barrels a day that we need additionally. We’re way behind.

“And it’s not just energy, this president continues to outsource not just our supply of oil and gas but our mineral supply, critical minerals that we need her in the United States.

“The Democrats’ reckless tax and spending spree accelerates that.

“Last week I issued a report proving how the Democrats’ reckless tax spending bill moves the United States  away from energy independence to energy and mineral dependence.

“An energy transition dependent on China, Russia, Iran, Venezuela, and the tyrants and terrorists there is not what our nation needs but is wat Joe Biden has brought upon us.

“Yet that’s what he caused.

 “American should never have to beg for energy, for minerals, from anybody, let alone from dictators.

“Our energy policy should enrich American people, the American economy should be strengthened by it

“Instead, Joe Biden’s policies dictated by the liberal left, are enriching our enemies.

“America’s energy policy must always put affordable, reliable, American energy first.

“We must put America first.

“We must unleash American energy.”

“That is the solution to help build our economy, and build our country.”