A 12-hour, non-stop international flight. That’s how far President Biden would rather travel to plead for Middle Eastern oil than just picking up the phone and directing his Interior Secretary to issue drilling permits to producers here at home.

This week, the White House officially announced what reporters have been speculating: that President Biden will be traveling to Saudi Arabia in July, presumably to discuss oil supplies.

This trip comes as gas prices across the nation, and especially in California, continue to escalate as new records break almost daily.

With the national average for a gallon of gas now over $5 and California’s average at $6.43, it is likely that Biden will implore Saudi Arabia to increase crude oil production to help stabilize American energy prices.

But with plenty of oil reserves throughout the U.S., including in Kern County where 71% of California’s oil and natural gas is produced, why won’t President Biden let us drill, here and around the country? Not only is American oil cleaner, but supplying Americans with reliable and affordable energy should not be dependent on the whims of our foreign competitors, particularly when we have the natural resources to produce energy right here in Kern County.

Biden’s plea to Saudi Arabia and OPEC is the epitome of hypocrisy and only further emphasizes how his failed energy policies are hurting Americans. The President must let our country produce more oil by Americans, for Americans.