Biden’s ‘Russian Oil’ Smokescreen
Why Biden really fears altering Russian petroleum product imports.
As corrupt Russian dictator Vladimir Putin increases his attacks on Ukraine, preparing for its annexation or puppet president installation, there has been a lot of bluster about “cutting off Russian oil.” Some reports indicate that Joe Biden is aggressively discouraging congressional Democrats from supporting that cutoff, but it will come.
Russia is largely dependent on energy exports for revenues. More than 40% of Russia’s federal budget is funded by oil and gas sales, which account for almost 60% of its exports. Thus, the price of oil has a dramatic impact on Russia’s economy, and the rapid increase in that price as a result of sanctions has actually helped fund Putin’s invasion.
As global crude oil tagged $130/bbl and domestic gasoline prices topped $4.30/gallon, both highs last seen when Barack Obama and then-VP Biden were in office, Biden knows that the disruption of Russian oil imports will exacerbate the rising inflation his government spending programs have accelerated, and will continue to do so.
For the record, the national average for regular gas on January 20, 2021, Donald Trump’s last day in office, was $2.39. The day Joe Biden entered office, he killed the XL Pipeline and other oil production projects in the name of the Left’s “climate change” agenda.
Six weeks into Biden’s rule, gas prices had already increased to $2.87. At the end of Biden’s first year in office, the price of a gallon of gas was $3.15. Clearly, the current surge is related to concerns about oil supply disruption after the Ukraine invasion – enabled by Joe Biden. That price will drop as soon as the global market balances its concern about the Ukraine invasion and disruption of oil supplies.
But banning Putin’s oil is not Biden’s real concern – sanctioning it is.
To understand the difference, as I wrote in my fact-checks on Biden’s State of the Union lies, when he aptly demonstrated his state of confusion, if Biden wanted to hit Putin, he should start by cutting off all U.S. imports of Russian oil and petroleum products, and thus stop funding his war on Ukraine with U.S. dollars. Biden is expected to take that action this week.
But as I noted further, the fact is, while refusing to import Russian oil may feel good, oil supplies are fungible, which is to say we will be buying somebody else’s oil and somebody else will be absorbing the Russian oil we didn’t buy.
The boldest thing Biden can do to really hit Putin’s purse is to conscript one of those Western alliances he claims he is so adept at forming and sanction Russian oil. As the Wall Street Journal editorial board notes, “A mere U.S. ban on Russian oil imports is a distraction from the real issue.”
However, Biden knows that sanctions could really push oil prices higher, despite OPEC’s excess production capacity now. And that would put additional pressure on Biden to increase U.S. oil production.
Biden could, with a stroke of his pen, restore the Keystone XL pipeline and fracking and drilling projects. America was the world’s largest energy exporter under Trump but is now, once again, a net importer — including Russian imports.
Of course, he won’t reverse his war on affordable energy because it would infuriate his Demo “Green New Deal” socialists, especially his jet-setting “climate change” czar, John Kerry, who has already expressed his concern that Putin’s invasion will impact carbon emissions.
Bottom line, Demos agree that shutting down Russia’s oil production will cripple their economy, but shutting down our production is good for our economy! Go figure!
At this point, the fact is both the U.S. and to a much greater extent, our European allies are dependent on Putin’s exports, and the increase in oil prices has greatly helped the cost of his assault on the Ukrainian people. Notably, Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, already declared that global support of his country, including sanctions, came too late.
On gas prices and inflation, Biden now insists, “I’m sick of this stuff.” He is now trying to deflect blame for inflation to Putin: “The current spike in gas prices is largely the fault of Vladimir Putin. It has nothing to do with the [$1.9 trillion] American Rescue Plan.” Joe Biden.
Fact Check: “Current spike” may be partly correct, but the problem is that Biden enabled Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine so the blame for that spike immediately comes full circle. As Brit Hume observed on Biden’s attempt to blameshift: “I’m really surprised they even tried [to blame Putin]. Gas prices and all other prices were soaring before this conflict broke out. They can’t possibly believe that people didn’t notice that.”
Bottom Line: Despite Biden’s petroleum reserve charade, he is absolutely committed to higher pump prices to force Americans into his “green” agenda. Joe Biden has neither pumped nor paid for his own gas in decades.
Regarding Biden’s so-called “American Rescue Plan,” that was $1.9 trillion in taxpayer-funded graft to fill a $300 billion economic hole created by the ChiCom Virus pandemic. The remaining $1.6 trillion is indisputably a major factor in the inflation now crushing family budgets.
Oh and on the subject of sanctions and all Biden’s bluster about Russia’s corrupt oligarchs, who are all beholden to Putin and will do nothing to challenge him, the wealthiest among them is, drum roll please….Vladimir Putin. He has stollen what is estimated to be somewhere between $10 and $200 billion from the Russian people, but he and his wealth are well protected. However, sanctions are and will continue to have an enormous impact on the Russian people.
Regardless, Putin the dictator has been busy threatening nuclear winter to resolve Kerry’s emission concerns, but he remains far more interested in the accumulation of power than wealth, and he knows well the amount of daylight between U.S./NATO rhetoric and the reality of his options.
PS: Let’s not the take our eyes off of all the mischief Biden and his Demos are doing domestically while the MSM has everyone focused on Biden’s foreign debacles.
Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis
Pro Deo et Libertate — 1776
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