Kudlow: Biden handed Putin financial power ‘on a silver platter’ by reducing American oil production

If only President Joe Biden had America’s oil spigots open, a top former Trump administration official said, America could have cut off a key source of Vladimir Putin’s financing. 

Appearing on Fox News, Larry Kudlow, an economist who was Donald Trump’s director of the National Economic Council, said Biden had made by reducing American oil production.

“John McCain put it very well, it was one of his finest moments, he was a friend of mine. He said Russia’s an old gas station masquerading as a country,” Kudlow said during an appearance on “Fox & Friends Weekend” Sunday.

“All they do is oil and gas. That’s it. They have some raw materials, too, so the way to get at them is to open the spigots wide.”

Kudlow said the answer was “drill, drill, drill, pipeline, pipeline, pipeline.” Instead, the Biden administration has been doing the opposite.

“This is where Biden has made an enormous mistake and has handed Putin, you know, on a silver platter, a lot of financial power,” Kudlow said.

“When oil prices got to $150 a barrel in 2008, Putin took Georgia OK, then oil prices simmer down. Then oil prices in 2014 got back to $100 a barrel. Putin took Crimea. Then, with the fracking revolution, which started under Obama, even though he opposed it and then continued under Trump with energy independence,” he continued.

“Oil prices were low, you know, $25, $40, $45, maybe $50. You never heard from Putin. The past year, oil prices have jumped from $50 to $100. Putin made about 85 billion in profits from that, and he’s using that money to finance his war on Ukraine.”

Now, Kudlow said that the Biden administration has made the United States energy dependent because of its climate change policies. The White House has revoked pipeline permits, stopped new energy exploration leases and aimed for a 50 percent reduction in carbon emissions from 2005 levels by 2030.

“So the moral of the story is: open the spigots,” Kudlow said Biden is doing exactly the reverse. At his press conference Thursday, Biden attacked the oil and gas companies, ‘don’t take advantage of it.'”

During remarks from the White House last week, Biden said that despite sanctions being leveled on Russia over their invasion of Ukraine, the White House was “taking active steps to bring down the costs. And American oil and gas companies should not — should not exploit this moment to hike their prices to raise profits.”

“I know this is hard and that Americans are already hurting. I will do everything in my power to limit the pain the American people are feeling at the gas pump. This is critical to me,” Biden said.

However, Kudlow said the way to limit the pain Americans would feel at the pump was energy independence.

“We could produce 15 million barrels a day. We’re only at 11 and a half now,” he said. “You do that, gasoline prices come down, the world crude price comes down, Putin loses money. So like Ukraine, he’s stuck in Ukraine has cost him a lot more money than he thought. That’s the way to go after him.”

Kudlow recommended reinstating the Keystone XL pipeline and drilling in Alaska. However, the White House likely isn’t taking his advice. Also on Sunday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said America should rely on green energy, not oil production, to reduce dependence on Russia.

“We need to reduce our dependence on foreign oil, on oil in general, and we need to look at other ways of having energy in our country and others,” Psaki told ABC News. “We’ve seen over the last week or so … a number of European countries are recognizing they need to reduce their own reliance on Russian oil.”