WASHINGTON (Daily Caller) — The Biden administration is expected to soon announce it would ease sanctions on Venezuelan oil amid the ongoing energy crisis, several media outlets reported.
The federal government will ease “some” of the energy sanctions on Venezuela, two senior administration officials told CNN. In addition, U.S. oil corporation Chevron will be allowed to enter into negotiations with Venezuelan state-owned firm PDVSA over potential continued operations in the South American oil-rich nation.
As part of the deal, Venezuelan dictator Nicolas Maduro agreed to open talks with opposition leader Juan Guaidó, Reuters reported.
“[The U.S. agreed to lift some sanctions] on the basis of ambitious, concrete and irreversible outcomes that empower the Venezuelan people to determine the future in their country through democratic elections,” one official told CNN. (RELATED: Gas Prices Hit All-Time High As White House Turns To Dictators For Help)
While the U.S. has pursued an aggressive sanctions regime against Venezuela for more than 15 years, in 2019 the Trump administration imposed a fresh swath of restrictions on the South American nation’s oil industry to renew pressure on Maduro, a 2021 report from the Congressional Research Service showed. Trump administration White House officials said the sanctions would reduce Venezuela’s oil exports by $11 billion.
As a result of the Trump-era sanctions, the U.S. hasn’t imported oil from Venezuela since May 2019, according to government data. The U.S. imported about 462,000 barrels of oil per day from Venezuela in 2018, and it imported 670,000 barrels per day from Russia in 2021.
Chevron has recently lobbied the federal government to remove the sanctions, according to Senate disclosures.
“Our experience buying Russian energy should have taught President Biden that buying energy from tyrants is a dangerous proposition,” Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Ranking Member John Barrasso said in a statement.
“Yet President Biden continues to reward our enemies by waiving sanctions while his administration does its best to kill American energy production. Funding despots isn’t in the national interest. Supporting American energy is,” he continued.
Venezuela consistently ranks as one of the least “free” countries in the world, according to Freedom House.
Meanwhile, the Biden administration has increasingly moved to restrict further domestic oil and gas production. The Department of the Interior canceled the three remaining federal offshore oil and gas lease sales last week and dramatically scaled back the federal onshore program in April.
The average price of gasoline reached an all-time record $4.52 a gallon on Tuesday, according to AAA data.
The Daily Caller’s Thomas Catenacci contributed to the contents of this report.
WASHINGTON (The Hill) — A new NBC News poll shows President Biden’s job approval rating has dipped to another low, with just 39 percent of Americans approving of the job he’s doing and 56 percent disapproving.
Americans are dinging the president on inflation, the economy and border security, as they have been for much of his presidency. Only 37 percent of Americans view Biden in a positive light, according to the poll, which shows his favorability rating hovers around the same percentage currently as former President Trump’s.
Biden appears to have lost ground once again after making some gains. Earlier this month, 42 percent of Americans approved of Biden’s job in a Washington Post-ABC News poll, which was up 5 percentage points from a previous poll in February.
In the NBC News poll, 59 percent of Americans approve of Biden’s handling of the coronavirus, where the president has consistently earned the best marks.
But only 33 percent of Americans approve of his handling of the economy, and only 23 percent approve of his handling of inflation and the cost of living, two issues that are likely to be among the most important at the ballot box in November.
Gas prices have surged to record highs this year, topping an average national price of $4.47 per gallon, while prices at grocery stores have also seen steep increases. Last week, reports of a shortage of baby formula triggered another round of anguish among American families.
About 41 percent of Americans say they are “somewhat satisfied” with their current financial situation, according to the poll, with 16 percent saying they are very dissatisfied with their financial situation.
Americans rank cost of living, the economy, voting rights and abortion in that order as the top four issues facing the nation.
The poll was conducted from May 5 to May 7 and then May 9 to May 10 among 1,000 respondents. The margin of error is 3 percentage points.
The Hill’s Brad Dress contributed to the contents of this report.
WASHINGTON– A blockbuster report obtained by Fox News shows illegal border crossings have totaled well over one million since Joe Biden took office eight months ago,
The report, which came from a source with the DHS, shows Border Patrol agents recorded more than 200, 000 illegal border crossings in July alone and another 208,887 encounters in August.
The numbers represent a 317% increase over August 2020 which saw 50,014 encounters — and a 233% increase over August 2019, where there were 62,707 at the peak of that year’s border crisis.
According to the DHS source, August’s total of 208,887 represents just a fraction of the true number of illegal aliens that are able to slip through undetected.
Biden has faced fierce criticism for its handling of the border crisis along the U.S.-Mexico border, which Republican blame on his administration’s rollback of Trump-era policies like border wall construction and the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP).
In August, DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said the administration will continue to move forward with its border strategy, which he said involves rebuilding “safe, legal and orderly pathways for migrants,” improving processing, and going after smugglers.
“We have a plan, we are executing our plan and that takes time,” said Mayorkas.
Privately, however, Mayorkas has admitted that the crisis at the border is “unsustainable.”
In audio leaked to Fox News, Moyorkas, who did not realize he was being recorded, said “A couple of days ago I was down in Mexico, and I said look, you know, if, if our borders are the first line of defense, we’re going to lose and this is unsustainable,” Mayorkas said. “We can’t continue like this, our people in the field can’t continue and our system isn’t built for it.”