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It was sad and pathetic to read how Joe Biden traveled to the Middle East and met with the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed ben Salman to ask them to increase oil production to lower gas prices in the United States.

Not only did those efforts fail, but the international oil cartel of oil producers (OPEC+) decided to significantly reduce oil output by 2 million barrels of oil a day to raise prices. In other words, they just didn’t say no, they said we are going to cut our production even further just because you are so weak.

Why are we begging OPEC+ countries, which include Iran, Iraq, Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, Russia, Libya, United Arab Emirates, and others, when we could produce our oil at home?

As our nation and the state of California move to electrify our economy, that effort is still decades away from reality. In the meantime, we should have an all of the above approach that lowers gas prices, invest in energy independence, and stop our country from being held hostage to OPEC+. As we stare down Russia day after day, it’s time we show strength and not weakness.

In California, Governor Gavin Newsom is sitting on 1,200 oil permits that are just collecting dust. Our residents are paying $1.50 more for each gallon of gasoline than the rest of the nation. Yet, California imports 70 percent of its oil, which comes with significant economic, environmental, and political costs.

By: Hector Barajas and Mike Vallante