Since the surge in gas prices, which was largely of his own making, President Joe Biden has expressed the idea that OPEC and Venezuela should ramp up oil production – even as Biden sells some of the stash of our own oil reservoir to overseas markets.
He also seemed destined to ask Saudi Arabia for more oil during an upcoming visit there, before Biden denied he would make that request.
Is China next?
If so, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio would be among the least surprised by Biden’s groveling.
In an opinion column published last week in National Review, the Florida Republican said Biden’s energy policies are so bad that it’s within the realm of the possibility that he might ask communist Chinese President Xi Jinping to crank up the refineries.
“Thanks to a combination of now-President Biden’s horrific policies and a decades-long war against American-made energy, Americans find themselves begging foreign nations for oil and gasoline,” Rubio wrote.
“But what comes next will be even more embarrassing for the United States,” he continued. “President Biden will almost certainly ask the Chinese Communist Party to power up its refineries and ship refined petroleum products to America. And he will be willing to pay a high price for it, likely by removing hundreds, if not thousands, of tariffs that help American industry compete with cheap—and forced—Chinese labor.”
Rubio was referring to President Donald Trump’s willingness to play economic hardball with the Chinese and impose those tariffs. But like more of Trump’s policies, Biden will have no problem undoing them – even if they work and benefit America.
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Rubio noted that U.S. oil-refinery production is down 5 percent in the last two years, and that more than half of America’s refineries have shuttered since 1977.
“That should not come as a surprise,” he added. “Building refineries is capital-intensive, and for decades the industry has been under assault by radical environmentalists, sympathetic politicians, and increasingly woke investors.”
But while we’ve let that happen here, Rubio noted, “China was rapidly positioning itself to be the world’s leading petroleum refiner—a goal it accomplished in 2020.”
Right now, one-third of China’s refining capacity is idle, according to Rubio.
But, the senator added, “Beijing could easily flip a switch and begin exporting refined products around the globe to allies and adversaries alike—and make political and financial gains in the process.”
As Biden is now prepping to talk with Xi about easing U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods, “it only takes a little foresight to see how refined petroleum products may become part of the bargain,” Rubio argued.
“Begging China for gasoline would be short-sighted, naïve, and disastrous for America. It would be a strategic coup for Xi, who wants nothing more than to signal China’s supremacy over the United States. And it would sink any hope of ever escaping economic reliance on the genocidal regime in Beijing,” Rubio continued.
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“Don’t be fooled by any talk about this being a short-term fix as we transition away from fossil fuels. That’s the same rhetoric that stifled investment in America’s refinery capacity to begin with. Moreover, it ignores the fact that we are already reliant on China for renewables.”
“Beijing has long pursued a strategic plan to dominate critical industries, and now America is playing catch-up,” Rubio concluded.
“Instead of groveling to a Marxist regime determined to overtake our country, we should focus inward and send a signal that we welcome all American energy production, including oil and natural gas.”