Rep. Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.) said that no one should be surprised that President Biden couldn’t get OPEC to agree to increase oil supply during last week’s trip to Saudi Arabia.
“I don’t think anybody should be surprised how the trip went. It was ill advised. I don’t know who is coming up with this stuff over at the White House, but what were they thinking, to go to Saudi Arabia to beg them for oil and you’re dealing with a cartel. They’re not going to deal with you,” he told Fox Business’s “Mornings with Maria Bartiromo.”
“What the president should have done is gone to Texas, gone to Louisiana, maybe Pennsylvania or North Dakota, maybe even go to Alaska and deal with American producers where we can increase supply. I mean the administration’s on the right track,” the congressman said.
“They realize there’s a supply shortage, but that supply should be coming domestically, not coming from OPEC or any of these other countries, OPEC plus, that this administration seems to want to deal with, other than dealing with American producers,” he said.
Biden once said he wants to make Saudi Arabia a pariah on the world stage, but during his visit to the country, he bumped fists with Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman when they met for the first time on Friday.
“Yeah, and you don’t fist bump pariahs. I don’t know what kind of image they were trying to portray there, but for what President Biden said on the campaign trail about what he was going to do with Saudi Arabia, and then we’ve got a vision in everybody’s mind of him fist bumping the prince there, and it’s just — it’s a bad image. It’s something that shouldn’t have happened. It’s like a junior high mistake,” Westerman said.
“This administration is on the wrong track and what on Earth possessed him to think it was going to be a good thing to go to Saudi Arabia to negotiate with the Saudis when all Americans — I saw a poll that said over 90% of Americans believe that or have concerns with food prices. They have concerns with energy prices,” the congressman said.
“We realize that we have the energy here. We just need to develop it, but all this administration wants to do and the left is they want to put roadblocks in the domestic production and then go negotiate with people that we shouldn’t be negotiating with. You don’t negotiate with a cartel,” he said.
Westerman agreed with Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) that no one wants to invest in oil refineries when the Biden administration said they want to put them out of business.
“And you’ve got Wall Street putting pressure on these companies not to invest in refineries. If you could get past the regulatory hurdles, then you’ve got the investment side of it. I saw an amazing statistic a couple weeks ago where U.S. refineries were operating at 94% capacity. That’s taking into account all of the maintenance outages and everything. That’s a phenomenal number,” the congressman said.
“We need more refining capacity, but this administration is attacking energy at every level. They’re aided by Wall Street which is saying fossil fuels are bad so it’s a barrier that’s being put up everywhere you turn. I was visiting with a company that’s building a natural – or, natural gas export facility,” he said.
“They needed to put about 3,000 more workers on their site. This administration while blaming the industry said they couldn’t put more workers on their site because of tail pipe exhaust from their cars when they come into the parking lot. You can’t even make some of this stuff, Maria, and they just keep doubling down on stupidity,” Westerman said.