Chevron oil drilling efforts in Venezuela blasted as 'stupidity,’ nonsensical

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Biden administration grants Chevron permit to drill in Venezuela

FOX Business’ Maria Bartiromo, Dagen McDowell and Fox News contributor Liz Peek discusses the Biden administration’s ‘controversial’ Chevron decision.

The Biden administration is taking some heat from critics after quietly paving the way for Chevron to expand its oil drilling operations in Venezuela. 

The "stupidity" of Biden officials encouraging the oil giant to go in Venezuela "is completely mind-blowing," Fox News contributor Liz Peek said on "Mornings with Maria" Monday.

According to a recent announcement made by the U.S. Treasury Department, Chevron has been issued an expanded license to import petroleum produced by its joint venture with the Venezuelan state oil-firm, PdVSA.

The approval comes after talks resumed between the Venezuelan government, led by socialist President Nicolás Maduro, and the opposition Unitary Platform. 

The U.S. granted Chevron authority to begin oil drilling in Venezuela again.  (iStock / iStock)

"This action reflects longstanding U.S. policy to provide targeted sanctions relief based on concrete steps that alleviate the suffering of the Venezuelan people and support the restoration of democracy," the Treasury Department said.

"None of this makes any sense," Peek told FOX Business’ Maria Bartiromo as Venezuela’s oil is considered heavier and dirtier compared to U.S. oil.

US TREASURY AUTHORIZES CHEVRON TO EXPAND OIL PUMPING IN VENEZUELA

"The idea [that] we sent officials there to encourage them to take baby steps towards looking like a democracy so that we could basically go in there and get more oil," explained Peek, calling the move "offensive"

As energy prices have risen and fueled inflation, President Biden released more than 200 million barrels from the nation's emergency oil reserves to provide relief at the pump. His administration has urged foreign governments like Venezuela to increase oil production as well amid worldwide shortages caused by sanctions against Russia for the war in Ukraine, OPEC+ announcing production cuts, and slowing production in U.S. shale. 

Venezuela produces at most 800,000 barrels of oil per day. That figure is up from the average of 525,000 barrels it produced a year ago, but far off its failed target of 1 million a day by the end of 2021 and nowhere near the more than 3 million barrels per day the country was producing in the 1990s.

"What could possibly be more foolish than turning to a regime that has killed and tortured dissidents," Peek decried. 

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro stands before a meeting at the presidential palace in Caracas. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos, File / AP Newsroom)

Despite Venezuela’s multitude of human rights violations being condemned by U.S. officials in the past, this is not the first time the Biden administration looked to the Latin country for oil-producing needs. 

In March, White House and State Department officials met with members of Nicolas Maduro’s government to discuss the possibility of easing sanctions on oil exports as gas prices surged in the U.S.

BIDEN'S PURSUIT OF VENEZUELAN OIL WHILE SHUNNING US ENERGY AND KEYSTONE XL SLAMMED: 'CLIMATE CRAZINESS'

Since taking office, Biden’s energy policies have mirrored his campaign promise to ease the U.S. off fossil fuels.

"I don’t think Americans understand just how profound the anti-fossil fuel regimen is in Biden’s White House," Peek told Bartiromo.

Recently, the president was widely criticized after pledging to give nearly $1 billion for "climate reparations" for poor countries that have suffered damages due to the use of fossil fuels.

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FOX Business’ Chris Pandolfo, Bradford Betz, Fox News’ Jessica Chasmar contributed to this report.

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