The governments of both Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) allegedly refused to answer phone calls from Joe Biden when he attempted to start up negotiations on the purchase of oil from the two energy-rich nations.
According to the New York Post, an anonymous Biden Administration official said that Biden’s attempts to reach Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and the UAE’s Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al Nahyan were deliberately ignored by both leaders.
“There was some expectation of a phone call, but it didn’t happen,“ the anonymous official originally told the Wall Street Journal. ”It was part of turning on the spigot” of oil reserves from the Middle East.
As previously reported, the Biden Administration had been making plans to negotiate with Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, and other oil-rich nations for the American purchase of energy in order to offset the current instability of the market due to Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine. The subsequent mass sanctioning of Russia by the international community has led to a further increase in energy prices that were already reaching record highs before Ukraine was invaded on February 24th.
The national average price of a gallon of gasoline reached $4.17 earlier this week, the first time that the average had been above $4 since 2008. On Tuesday, following criticism that his original round of sanctions against Russia did not target their energy sector, Biden announced that he would be banning any future imports of Russian oil into the United States.
The stalling of Biden’s efforts in Saudi Arabia most likely stem from long-standing tensions between Biden and Mohammed bin Salman, after Biden had previously accused the Saudi prince of being responsible for the disappearance of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The UAE is closely aligned with Saudi Arabia, and had previously negotiated a peace agreement with Israel under the Trump Administration.
Another tactic Biden is employing to circumvent the energy crisis is to negotiate a new nuclear deal with Iran, after the first such deal that was negotiated under the Obama Administration in 2015 proved to be widely unpopular with the American people, leading to President Donald Trump withdrawing from the deal in 2018. However, Russia has been playing a key role in moderating talks between the United States and Iran, drawing even further criticism of the Biden Administration’s double-standards in dealing with Russia.
The energy crisis stems from Biden’s earliest actions in office, which included shutting down the Keystone XL Pipeline and indefinitely blocking all oil and gas leases on federal lands. Biden’s efforts to deliberately shut down domestic energy production have been primarily for the purpose of pleasing activists who support so-called “green energy,” and are opposed to fossil fuels on the basis of the scientifically-debunked belief that the production of such energy leads to “global warming” that could eventually destroy the planet.