The United States is in the midst of an “oil crisis” and President Obama is not taking the steps needed to address it effectively, businessman Donald Trump told Eagle Daily Investor in an exclusive interview.
Trump, a supporter of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, said U.S. leaders in Washington need to “deal strongly and very, very firmly with OPEC,” as well as remove barriers to domestic production of energy. Without corrective actions, the United States will continue to be vulnerable to the actions of OPEC that cause unpredictability in oil prices.
Although oil prices have fallen about 25% since April amid rising output from Saudi Arabia and economic troubles in China and Europe, the supply of oil to the European Union (EU) and the United States will fall when they take steps in July to impose sanctions against Iran, OPEC’s second-largest oil exporter. Aimed at reducing Iran’s oil revenues sharply to pressure Iran’s leaders to scale back their nation’s nuclear program, the EU sanctions start July 1 and U.S. lawmakers are expected to take action later that month.
With those sanctions reducing the available supply of oil to the United States, the EU and other countries that honor the restrictions, the result will be upward pressure on oil prices that analysts expect to grow further by the end of the year.
Increased domestic production in the United States would be a wise policy to adopt to reduce American dependence on foreign oil, Trump said.
“You have to start drilling and we have to take out the tremendous energy that we have right under our feet,” Trump said. “If we don’t do that, we’re fools.”
With the United States needing to import oil to meet its energy needs, OPEC is “taking advantage” of Americans, Trump said.
In Trump’s latest book, “Time to Get Tough,” he openly declares that President Obama is not providing the kind of leadership needed to remedy America’s dependence on foreign oil.
“The idea of $85 a barrel for oil used to be unthinkable,” Trump wrote. “Now, OPEC yawns at that figure and jacks the price higher, laughing all the way to the bank.”
OPEC would not exist is it were not for the United States “saving and protecting” Middle Eastern countries, Trump wrote.
“Where is our president in all this?” Trump wrote in his book. “Where’s the accountability? What is the point of executive leadership if our executive is weak and doesn’t lead? What excuse is there for a president whose answer to the oil crisis is not to get tough with OPEC, not to free our own domestic oil companies to do their job and drill, but to release our strategic reserve? That’s not leadership, that’s an abdication of leadership.”
Instead, Trump favors having Iraq and other countries in the Middle East that the United States has aided militarily use proceeds from oil sales to repay the U.S. government for assisting them.
“In other words, we don’t fight a war, hand over the keys to people who hate us, and leave,” Trump wrote. “We win a war, take the oil to repay the financial costs we’ve incurred, and in so doing, treat Iraq and everybody else fairly.”
In Trump’s view, the United States erred in not firming up a repayment plan with the
Iraqis — through exiled Iraqi dissidents — before taking part in a war to help the people of Iraq rid themselves of their “murderous dictator,” Saddam Hussein.
Regnery, the publisher of Trump’s book, and Eagle Daily Investor, share the same owner, Washington-based Eagle Publishing.
Paul Dykewicz is the editor of Eagle Daily Investor.