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WATCH: Biden official blames US oil companies for not drilling when asked about lifting sanctions on Venezuela

"Why is it that President Biden would rather let US companies drill for oil in Venezuela than here in the US?" asks Doocy.

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National Security Council spokesman John Kirby was grilled by Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy on why Biden would rather let companies drill for oil in Venezuela than in the US during a press briefing on Monday.

On Saturday, the US Treasury Department granted a license for US energy company Chevron to begin pumping oil in the country of Venezuela, at the same time as the Biden administration seeks a means to reduce energy costs in the US.



Doocy's question to Kirby about the sanctions relief for Venezuela is direct from the start.

"Why is it that President Biden would rather let US companies drill for oil in Venezuela than here in the US?"

Kirby's response is that that is "not an accurate take on the President's view."



Doocy reminds Kirby that just earlier in the month at a rally in support of Kathy Hochul, Biden was quoted as saying "No more drilling. There is no more drilling. I haven't formed any new drilling."

"The President has issued 9,000 permits for drilling on US federal lands," Kirby responds, "9,000 of them being unused. There are plenty of opportunities for oil and gas companies to drill here in the United States."

While this fact is technically true, the reality is far more complicated than that.

According to Forbes, the oil industry sometimes takes years to undertake analyses of rock formations miles below the surface. Some wells end up not producing any oil at all, or produce so little that a company deems it not worth their time and money.

As for the issue of sanctions relief for Venezuela, Kirby passes the buck and says he'll "let Chevron speak for this particular issue." 

Doocy then asks: "Does the President think there's some benefit to the climate to drill oil in Venezuela, and not here?"

"This has nothing to do with a benefit to the climate," Kirby responds, before repeating himself. "Again, there are 9,000 unused permits here in the United States on federal land, that oil and gas companies can and should take advantage of, [and] we're talking about one ... in Venezuela."

"It remains to be seen how much we'll get drilled down there, it'll be up to Chevron to decide that," Kirby adds, "but as a function of the sanction itself, that oil, whatever product is drilled, has to come to the United States." 
 
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