Numerous prominent environmentalist groups had nothing to say about the Biden administration’s decision to ease oil sanctions on the socialist Venezuelan regime.
The Sierra Club, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Earthjustice, Climate Defiance, Greenpeace USA and Xtinction Rebellion’s Washington, D.C., arm (XR-DC) all declined to comment or did not respond to questions asking whether they approved of the sanctions reduction deal, which is expected to lead to a sharp increase in oil exports, according to Reuters. The Biden administration will ease U.S. sanctions on Venezuelan oil sales in return for Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s promise to hold “freer” elections next year, according to The Washington Post.
Each of these environmentalist groups has opposed the continued expansion of fossil fuel use and infrastructure in the U.S., and they routinely facilitate legal challenges or protests to curtail domestic coal, oil and gas activity. The groups have vehemently opposed oil drilling in the U.S., including the Willow project, citing their fears that such activity will contribute to climate change. (RELATED: ‘Stop Negotiating With Terrorists And A Dictator’: GOP Lawmakers Rip Biden’s Move To Ease Venezuela Oil Sanctions)
Standing ovation from the whole room as President Trump welcomes Venezuela’s opposition leader Juan Guaido
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) February 5, 2020
Climate Defiance and XR-DC are known for using disruptive, confrontational tactics to protest against a perceived lack of government and corporate action against climate change. Earthjustice, NRDC, Greenpeace USA and Sierra Club often use their immense resources to lead legal challenges against fossil fuel interests in the U.S., as well as engage in political lobbying at the federal level in some cases.
Further, most of these groups backed President Joe Biden in 2020, and appear poised to do the same in 2024. All of these groups view climate change as a global problem.
Maduro was a longtime loyalist of the now-deceased Hugo Chavez, and his government has been known to violently weaponize the country’s legal system to crack down on political dissent and opposition leaders, according to Amnesty International. Like Chavez, Maduro is a socialist dictator, and he maintained his grip on power in a 2018 election widely described as rigged, according to the U.S. Mission to the Organization of American States.
Specifically, the deal requires Maduro to agree to overturn bans against opposition candidates that could run against him in next year’s presidential elections, and he would also need to allow international election observers to oversee the election, according to The Washington Post.
Before falling into a state of near economic collapse in the wake of socialism’s rise, Venezuela was among the world’s leading oil producers, according to the Council on Foreign Relations. Former President Donald Trump slapped stringent sanctions on Venezuela’s state-owned oil company in 2019 in an effort to pressure Maduro into stepping down in the wake of the reportedly fraudulent election the year prior.
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