Doocy, Kirby Spar Over Biden Administration Supporting Oil Drilling In Venezuela Rather Than At Home

Doocy, Kirby Spar Over Biden Administration Supporting Oil Drilling In Venezuela Rather Than At Home

Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy sparred with White House Coordinator for Strategic Communications at the National Security Council John Kirby on Monday over the lack of encouragement for U.S. oil companies to drill domestically.

President Joe Biden turned to Venezuela to produce oil amid the rising gas prices in the U.S. and the ban on Russian imports imposed in March. Months after releasing sanctions on the nation, the Treasury Department has begun issuing licenses to allow U.S. oil companies, currently Chevron, to allow the company to drill in Venezuela.

“On the sanctions relief for Venezuela, why is it that President Biden would rather let U.S. companies drill for oil in Venezuela than here in the U.S.?” Doocy asked.

“That’s not an accurate take on the president’s view,” Kirby answered.

“Earlier this month, he said ‘No more drilling, there is no more drilling,’” Doocy said.

“The president has issued 9,000 permits for drilling on U.S. federal lands, Peter, 9,000 of them are being unused,” he said. “There are plenty of opportunities for oil and gas companies to drill here in the United States. And I’ll let Chevron speak for this particular issue of sanctions relief, but our expectation is it won’t be a lot of oil coming out of there. It will have to be shipped to the United States.”

Doocy then asked President Biden thinks drilling in Venezuela rather than the U.S. is more beneficial to the climate. Kirby said the licenses to drill in Venezuela have no correlation to concerns over the climate, followed by his repeated answer that oil companies in the U.S. are not using the 9,000 available drilling permits and that any oil drilled overseas is required to come to the U.S. (RELATED: ‘That’s A Little Bit Insulting’: Kirby Pushes Back Against Doocy Suggesting Biden Is Weak On China) 

Industry groups previously told the Daily Caller News Foundation that not every lease was usable and that many were in the process of being litigated. Despite this, the White House has continued to place blame on oil companies for not taking enough action to bring down gas prices.

The administration also halted oil and gas drilling on over 58,000 acres of federal land and 113 oil leases in September while allowing Chevron to drill in Venezuela.

Doocy also pressed Kirby on the National Security Council mounting its support for the right to protest the government shutdowns in China rather than condemning the Chinese regime’s lockdown policy.

The U.S. has stood in solidarity with demonstrators attending protests over the government lockdowns that have erupted in China in late November. A spokesperson with the White House National Security Council told ABC News on Monday that the administration supports the right of citizens to “peacefully protest.”

“Why is the White House’s line that everybody has the right to peacefully protest and not ‘The U.S. thinks it’s bad to lock people up in their houses to stop COVID?’” Doocy asked.

“We’ve made it clear, Peter, that a lockdown is not a policy that we’re gonna support here. We’ve come a long way over these last three years, hard to believe three years, in terms of treating COVID and preventing COVID,” Kirby said. “So, we said a lockdown is not a policy that we support here, but obviously there are people in China that have concerns about that, and they’re protesting that and we believe they should be able to do that peacefully.”

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