Some Florida lawmakers had choice comments for President Joe Biden’s plan to allow an American oil company to drill for more oil — in Venezuela.
As The Free Press reported on Sunday, the Biden administration had approved a license to tap the South American nation’s rich fossil fuel deposits. Yet Biden’s permit has more strings attached than a twine factory.
Chevron cannot shift any of the profits it makes to the national government or Venezuela’s state-run oil company, which may facilitate access; the company cannot help Venezuela develop new oilfields, or work with or pay Russian firms that work them now; Chevron can only get limited help from major players in the oil rigging industry that could help with drilling; and Chevron’s license is good initially for only six months, and could be revoked at any time.
Other than that, Chevron, drill away.
But the fact that Biden permitted Chevron to drill in the backyard of one of the world’s most oppressive dictators, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, while also blocking further expansion to mine American reserves, rankled a few Florida Republicans.
“Building Venezuela Back Better,” GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz of Fort Walton Beach tweeted.
“The Biden administration’s decision to ease restrictions on Venezuela undermines any attempt to establish democracy. Under NO circumstance should we be negotiating with dictators like Maduro,” tweeted Rep. Carlos Gimenez of Miami. “Biden will do anything to crush American energy independence, including giving in to dictators.”
“Truly incredible,” added Rep. Vern Buchanan of Sarasota. “President Biden would rather cut deals with a dictator than unleash American energy independence. Why rely on Venezuela’s oil reserves when we have the ability to produce and refine cleaner oil right here at home?”
Sen. Rick Scott noted on Twitter, “The Biden administration preaches the importance of human rights and protecting Democracy while unilaterally legitimizing and empowering a human rights abuser. There’s no scenario where the United States should do business with thugs like Maduro and his vile regime.”
On Twitter, Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, another Miami lawmaker, argued, “It’s unconscionable that the Biden Administration canceled the Keystone Pipeline and banned CLEANER domestic production in North America only to give the green light to pump blood oil from #Venezuela, further enriching Maduro’s narco-terrorist regime.”