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Bartiromo: Biden Admin's Red Tape Killing Fossil Fuel Industry While Americans Pay at Pump

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Fox Business Network host Maria Bartiromo said the Biden administration’s energy policies are contributing greatly to the nation’s high gas prices.

Appearing on the Fox News program “America’s Newsroom” on Thursday, Bartiromo argued that the OPEC+ countries agreeing this week that they would be cutting oil production by 2 million barrels per day caught President Joe Biden’s team by surprise.

She noted that Biden had traveled to Saudi Arabia just three months ago to push Saudi Arabia to produce more oil.

National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and National Economic Council Director Brian Deese said in a joint statement Wednesday, “The President is disappointed by the shortsighted decision by OPEC+ to cut production quotas while the global economy is dealing with the continued negative impact of Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.”

“At a time when maintaining a global supply of energy is of paramount importance, this decision will have the most negative impact on lower- and middle-income countries that are already reeling from elevated energy prices,” they added.

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The average price for a gallon of gas on Thursday is $3.87, though in several western states, it is nearing or above $5 per gallon, according to AAA. When Biden took office, the average was $2.38.

Bartiromo argued that price increase is based on supply and demand, and the Biden administration has worked to reduce domestic oil output.

“We have the capacity to have our own production in this country, but this climate change agenda is priority one, and so they’re going to do business with the killers instead of the drillers, and that’s what we learned this morning again on the Venezuela story,” Bartiromo said.

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Fox Business reported that the Biden administration is looking to roll back sanctions on Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro’s regime in order to clear the way for Chevron to resume its oil operations in the country.

FBN’s Dagen McDowell, who was guest-hosting on “America’s Newsroom” Thursday, argued Biden officials have “made a mess” out of the U.S.’s petroleum industry.

She pointed out the administration has leased the fewest number of acres for oil drilling, both on land and offshore, of any administration going back to World War II.

“President [Joe] Biden’s Interior Department leased 126,228 acres for drilling through Aug. 20, his first 19 months in office, [an] analysis found. No other president since Richard Nixon in 1969-70 leased out fewer than 4.4 million acres at this stage in his first term,” The Wall Street Journal reported.

According to Energy Information Administration, the U.S. produced 11.8 million barrels per day in July, the latest figure available, which is down from the country’s peak production of roughly 13 million in November 2019 under the Trump administration.

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McDowell also noted that Deese said in the spring the administration’s long-term goal is to get to zero fossil fuel use, and high oil prices are an impetus to get there “more quickly.”

Fox host Dana Perino asked Bartiromo to address the Biden administration’s response that oil companies are not currently developing all the federal land leases they have.

“The fact is that the bureaucracy around oil companies and their plans to move forward, drill, have new projects is so thick, that bureaucracy, it makes it impossible, nearly impossible for these oil companies to actually commit to a project long term and keep it up,” Bartiromo said.

“Look what’s going on right now with the banks. The Biden administration is trying to force the banks, or encourage the banks to stop lending to the fossil fuel industry,” she added.

In a December piece for The Wall Street Journal, businessman and Heritage Foundation visiting fellow Andy Pudzer wrote that John Kerry, the administration’s climate envoy, “has been pressuring banks and financial institutions to reduce their commitments to U.S. oil and gas companies and join the Net-Zero Banking Alliance, which would hobble the ability of oil and gas companies to increase production.

“Citi, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase signed on to the alliance this year.”

The United Nations generated Net-Zero Banking Alliance calls on signatories to align their lending and investment portfolios to assist the world in reaching net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. It also looks for the participants to sign on to intermediate targets for 2030 or sooner.

Bartiromo noted that Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, during a House Financial Services Committee last month, pressed bank leaders on whether their institutions had stopped funding new oil and gas projects.

JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon responded, “Absolutely not. That would be the road to hell for America.”

Citigroup CEO Jane Fraser answered that her bank would also continue to finance oil drilling projects while helping energy companies transition to cleaner options.

The CEOs of Bank of America and Wells Fargo provided similar answers, meaning so far the Biden administration has not shut down the financing of oil exploration.

Bartiromo summarized, “So the bottom line is, it’s not just about the leases, it’s about all the rules, the regulations, the bureaucracy that this administration has put in place to stop, lessen and kill the fossil fuel industry.”

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