Fox News anchor Sandra Smith hosted a “discussion” of President Joe Biden’s easing of Venezuela oil sanctions by falsely accusing him of not allowing oil to be pumped in the U.S.
Smith got the gaslighting going in her opening question to guest Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA). She asked and then answered her own question. She said that Cassidy is “blasting the hypocrisy of this move” and then “asked,” “What is your reaction to the White House saying Venezuela can pump it there but not here at home?”
Cassidy seemed more intent on drilling off the coast of Louisiana than blasting Biden’s deal with Venezuela. He said, “Hey, let’s pump it in Venezuela but let’s pump it here. Off the coast of Louisiana, there are existing rigs that you can drill off the existing rig, and begin bringing oil and gas to the coast of Louisiana to be refined, lowering the price of utility bills, gasoline, helping our allies in Europe, the administration still has not permitted those. Now, they can speak about all the permits they want, there has to be a pipeline, there has to be an infrastructure, there has to be a way to get at the market.”
Smith prodded Cassidy to attack the Biden administration more. She said, “A common refrain from the White House is, ‘Hey, well, that oil wouldn’t have been used in its entirety here in the United States, it would’ve been sent overseas.’ What do you say to that?”
“Who cares?” Cassidy replied. “The reality is, is that you’re going to lower gas prices in the United States even if it is not entirely refined in the United States.” He accused the Biden administration of being “conflicted” and “trying to [obfuscate] because they can’t make the point they want to make.”
That still wasn’t enough anti-Biden talk for Smith. “Do you have national security concerns with us turning to Venezuela for help bringing down our energy prices?”
"No, not “regarding that,” Cassidy said. He said he’s “fine” with bringing oil from Venezuela, “but if we want to really strengthen the pocketbook of an individual American, then why don’t we produce oil and gas in our country, and refine it in our country? That helps our national security because one, we’re less subject to the whims of Russia and OPEC. It also helps our national security because we can ship it overseas. Lastly, it helps lower emissions. It’s been well documented that refining oil and gas, say, off the coast of Louisiana is the most carbon friendly way to do it as opposed to importing it from elsewhere.”
It seems like Cassidy’s goal was to increase energy activity in Louisiana, which is understandable. But Smith was obviously pushing a political agenda of her own. Although she noted the Biden administration’s (correct) claim that there are more than 9,000 approved drilling permits not being used, she left it up to Cassidy to “respond to that." She added, with obvious skepticism, "they’ve said this many times,” as if she had neither the ability nor responsibility to get at the truth.
Cassidy called that “very disingenuous” because “they won’t permit the pipeline” that is necessary.
FACT CHECK: We’re not energy experts here but according to PolitiFact, at the least, that is not the full story. In March, PolitiFact analyzed the unused permits issue (it confirmed the number) and said nothing about a pipeline. It reported several other reasons that oil companies choose not to drill, including the fact that they can raise funds from investors by not drilling on leases with proven reserves. There are also many other steps that need to be taken before drilling can start, meaning that it doesn’t start right away after a permit is issued. “Having thousands of unused drilling permits is not something that is unique to Biden’s tenure,” PolitiFact noted.
Furthermore, in July, PolitiFact wrote about Herschel Walker’s claim, rated “false,” that Biden “stopped domestic drilling” for oil:
Since President Joe Biden took office, oil production has risen both on federal lands and on U.S. lands overall. Overall domestic oil production in 2021 came close to a record high.
Smith mentioned none of that.
You can watch the supposedly objective Smith abdicate her role as truthful informer below, from the November 28, 2022 Your World.