Stockholm Syndrome is the mental pathology of developing admiration for one’s captors or thanking them for some false benefit. And such is the phenomenon that can be seen in historically blind praise of the new Biden move to “ease sanctions” against the importation of Venezuelan oil.
It’s not that the importation of oil is bad. On the contrary, that’s helpful. But it’s essential not to thank our abusive overlords, even as they slightly adjust the pressure on our lives.
Newsmax reports that Biden on Saturday saw fit to lift import restrictions against the state-dominated, mostly-state-owned oil that U.S. consumers can buy from Venezuela.
“The Treasury Department is allowing Chevron to resume ‘limited’ energy production in Venezuela after years of sanctions that have dramatically curtailed oil and gas profits that have flowed to Maduro's government. Earlier this year the Treasury Department again allowed the California-based Chevron and other U.S. companies to perform basic upkeep of wells it operates jointly with state-run oil giant PDVSA.”
In the process, Venezuelan “President” Hugo Chavez and his state-owned oil monolith, PDVSA (Petróleos de Venezuela Sociedad Anónima), “nationalized” the property of private oil companies, abrogating agreements those companies (including British-held BP, ExxonMobil, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Total, Statoil) had with locals and with international buyers, and triggering a dangerous collapse in oil output from a nation that is immensely blessed with the resource and could benefit if government would step aside. PDVSA now runs virtually all the oil industry in socialist Venezuela, and that oil industry just happens to be the source of nearly all of the nation’s foreign exchange earnings.
“Under the new policy, profits from the sale of energy would be directed to paying down debt owed to Chevron, rather than providing profits to PDVSA.”
But, while this is a positive for Chevron, and, to a small extent, to U.S. consumers who might see a little more oil entering the United States, it’s wise not to thank one’s arrogant, self-proclaimed “rulers” for false charity.
Chevron and others got ripped off by Venezuela, which got in the way of the private energy industry (which, itself, is peppered with corporations that have been tied to nation-states and national corporate sub-entities).
But, while it has not “nationalized” the oil industries in the traditional sense of the word, the U.S. government engages in many of the same collectivist crimes as Venezuela, and has done since 1920, seizing (nationalizing) land in states to create “national monuments and parks," controlling offshore areas that it has no constitutional power to control, claiming power to control the mixes of gas, the refining of oil, the transport of oil, and even the labeling of oil products (in most states, gas stations are forbidden from telling customers what percentage of their price is composed of taxes to feed the political bureaucracy).
The key here is that the feds aren’t supposed to claim these lands, nor are they supposed to control, “regulate,” or play favorites in, the U.S. energy industry, in the first place.
As I have noted for MRCTV, the Constitution not only does not allow the feds to “lease” anything on federally-run lands, it only allows the feds to own three types of land: the 10-square-mile area reserved for the Capital, land for military garrisons, and territories.
When territories become states, they are supposed to enter with all the constitutional privileges of states, which means they don’t have to cede land to the feds.
So-called “national heritage sites,” “nature reserves,” and control over the coasts are inarguably unconstitutional.
And, as I wrote in September for MRCTV:
“It wasn’t until the ‘Mineral Leasing Act of 1920’ that the feds began to shake-down oil companies, making them buy leases to explore and, later, permits, to drill. But that process, itself, was clouded by already-established oil big-wigs who utilized their political connections to exclude small, start-up, competition.”
It’s vital to remember that the U.S. government isn’t “helping” Americans with its “command-and-control” approach to energy – an approach that has gotten even more onerous and dangerous since Joe Biden entered office.
Since day ONE of the Biden administration, when Biden nixed the Keystone XL pipeline, to his stoppage of new offshore oil and gas exploration leases, to his most recent move to unconstitutionally ban Russian energy imports (which has not harmed Russia in the least, since Chinese state-tied energy companies are buying the Russian LNG, then reselling it to those “pro-Ukraine” European nation-states, giving both the Russians and Chinese hefty profits) the current administration has engaged in a systematic carry-through of Biden’s campaign promise to try to destroy the U.S. oil and gas industries – and all at the expense of not only the energy industries, but of our ability to better or sustain our standards of living.
We should not embrace Stockholm Syndrome and praise a political “overlord” for lifting the blockade the government imposed against oil from Venezuela. That barrier – like all – attacked not just the foreign sellers, be they attached to a government or some other not); blockades attack our own freedom to decide what to buy or not buy.
And it also is vital to know that the blockade, itself, was not the work of Biden, as bad as Biden has been.
It was another of Donald Trump’s big errors, coming in the form of a 2018 “Executive Order” (13850).
And that lets us conclude this look at U.S. civics by asking some fundamental questions. Beyond the treatment of “Executive Orders” as if they are law, how is it that the U.S. political gang get to tell people whether they can or can't buy something from a foreign seller? The Constitution they support lets them place tariffs on incoming products, but it doesn't allow them to BAN importation of products.
And how does one square this move with Biden's previous attacks on DOMESTIC exploration, production, and refining -- all of which should also be hands-off for the feds?
For added perspective, check out the Americans for Prosperity list of poisonous Biden administration energy policies. AFP it in December of 2021, and kept updating through June of this year with 25 ways Joe and his chums have used government aggression to stifle energy supply and raise prices.
The information is important. Pop media seem disinterested in exploring it.
But, thankfully, we can share it with one another, and with friends and family who might want to learn key info that can help them understand how much the feds run our lives.