CNBC's Joe Kernen pressed Special Presidential Coordinator Amos Hochstein on Wednesday about President Biden's claim that there would be "no more drilling" for oil in the U.S. and what he meant by the comments.
"It was ten days ago the president again said, President Biden, maybe you tried to talk him out of it, I don't know. I don’t know what you do when he says it, but when he says we’re going to end drilling domestically, that causes the major oil producers to not want to invest long term," Kernen said. "You say we like them, we want them to produce. Give me a number on how long, do you want them to do it for five more years, or ten more years? How long will we need these major oil producers to keep drilling? What does he mean, we’re going to end drilling? When?"
Hochstein said that "eventually" the country would be phasing out the use of oil and Kernen pressed him on what he meant by eventually.
"So we understand that the economy in the United States and around the world is going to be using oil for several more years as we transition and look at our own goals. Our goal has been to have 50% of new car sales by 2030 be electric vehicles. That tells you that — how much longer we still see oil in the market, and that’s just 50% of new car sales. By 2035, we're probably going to go, even if we go to 100% of new car sales being electric, you still have the entire fleet there. You know we make other things from oil as well," Hochstein said.
CNBC host Joe Kernen presses Amos Hochstein on drilling and phasing out oil. (Screenshot/CNBC/SquawkBox)
Kernen also asked about Chevron expanding their oil operations in Venezuela after the president eased sanctions.
"He doesn’t invite Elon Musk when — President Biden, when he’s talking about EVs he doesn’t invite the major oil companies domestically to come to the White House to talk about increasing production, we go to Venezuela, these are the things that critics would say don’t make any sense," Kernen said.
Hochstein said the Chevron licensing was an effort to "kick-start the political process at Mexico City."
"The license to Venezuela is very small. The production is tiny, the amount of oil that will come to the United States is not all that significant, will help some but not all that significant. And outside of tax and royalty, the profits are not actually going to go into the hands of the Madura regime, it’s going to go to pay against debt to the U.S. companies. So there’s not a lot there. This is not going to Venezuela for oil," Hochstein said.
U.S. President Joe Biden reacts as he walks to greet Chinese President Xi Jinping before a meeting on the sidelines of the G20 summit meeting, Monday, Nov. 14, 2022, in Bali, Indonesia. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Kernen argued that all people hear about from Biden is "profiteering" and "windfall profits taxes" and ending drilling.
"That’s global, you blame it on Putin when it goes up but then you say you can lower it at any time that doesn’t make any sense," Kernen added after Hochstein said something would need to be done if we don't see prices coming down.
The CNBC host also said he wouldn't invest in production if the U.S. was going to stop drilling.
President Joe Biden gestures boarding Air Force One at Nantucket Memorial Airport in Nantucket, Mass., Sunday, Nov. 27, 2022. Biden is heading back to Washington after spending the Thanksgiving Day holiday in Nantucket with family. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
"I don’t know if I’d invest money in trying to increase production if you are going to end drilling, if you keep saying that. Tell him to stop saying that, you get to see him from time to time, it seems like he only listens to one side of the argument, the way out there side of things," Kernen said.
Republican lawmakers criticized the move and said it would cater to Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.
"Instead of getting serious about flipping the switch for more energy production here in the U.S.—which would help lower energy costs and reduce emissions—the Biden administration continues to cede our global energy leadership to corrupt regimes," Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers told Fox Buisness.
Hanna Panreck is an associate editor at Fox News.