A bipartisan push for the United States to stop importing oil from Russia is gaining momentum with the introduction of two bills amid Moscow’s bloody invasion of Ukraine.
On Tuesday, a group of nine Republicans introduced legislation to ban Russian oil imports, as did Green New Deal champion Sen. Ed MarkeyEd MarkeyHillicon Valley – Senators Introduce Child Online Safety Bill Senate Democrats Urge YouTube to Remove ‘Ghost Gun’ Videos The Hill’s Morning Report – Biden on Russia: Beware and Verify MORE (D-Mass.).
Both agreed that the US should stop importing Russian oil, but Republicans are pushing for more US drilling, while Markey advocates a clean energy shift.
The Markey bill and the separate Republican version, led by the senator. Roger MarshallRoger W. MarshallSunday shows preview: White House says Russia could invade ‘any day’; RNC censorship resolution receives backlash overnight Energy and Environment – EPA advisers back tougher soot standards Agriculture Department to invest billions in climate-friendly agriculture MORE (R-Kan.), would make it illegal to import oil from Russia.
“First of all, President BidenJoe BidenRubio jumps SOTU on COVID-19 test mandate: ‘I don’t have time’ Arizona GOP asks court to strike down voting-by-mail system US views Putin’s nuclear threat as posturing MORE must restart US energy production and stop funding [Russian President] Vladimir PoutineVladimir Vladimirovich PutinMcCarthy slams GOP members who spoke at White Nationalist conference: ‘Unacceptable’ Overnight Defense & National Security – Ukraine stands tall as Russian frustration grows Ukrainian leaders urge lawmakers to support no-fly zone PLUSwar against Ukraine by continuing to buy crude oil from Russia,” Marshall said in a statement.
Markey’s legislation would also require a report identifying entities involved in importing Russian oil into the United States, their ties to Putin, and forming a strategy to prioritize clean energy over Russian oil. . And that would force the Biden administration to issue sanctions based on the findings.
“Our global dependence on oil keeps us locked in dangerous cycles of conflict and corruption, but we can choose a cleaner path to peace. By eliminating our dependence on Russian oil, we can pave the way for a more prosperous and peaceful future, free from dependence on dirty oil and natural gas,” the Democrat said in a statement.
The Biden administration may be hesitant to restrict oil imports because fuel prices — especially at the gas pump — have been a politically sensitive issue.
Swing vote senator. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinManchin Joins Senate GOP to Block Abortion Access Bill Surprise: Despite Appearances, Democracy Is Slowly Progressing (DW.Va.) Monday night also called for an end to Russian oil imports.
“If there was ever a time to be energy independent, it’s now. I call on the administration and industry partners to act immediately, up to and including a ban on crude oil imports from Russia,” Manchin said in a statement.
“To continue to ask other countries to do what we can do for ourselves in a cleaner way is hypocritical,” he added.
It’s unclear whether the Biden administration will ultimately take action to cut off US oil imports, with the president said last week that the sanctions against Russia were “designed to allow energy payments to continue”.
At a press conference on Monday, the White House press secretary Jen PsakiJen PsakiUS sees Putin’s nuclear threat as an overnight defense and national security posture – Ukraine stands tall as Russian frustration grows US expels 12 Russian diplomats for ‘espionage activities’ MORE noted that decisions to import oil are made by the private sector.
“The US government does not dictate where the US market sells our own oil and gas products or where it acquires crude or refined products for domestic consumption. It all depends on the private sector, with exceptions like countries under sanctions,” she said.
But pressed on whether the United States would decide to ban it, PSAki said: “We haven’t ruled that out.”
According to monthly totals published by the Energy Information Administration, the United States imported nearly 700,000 barrels a day of oil on average from Russia last year.
Overall, the United States in 2020 consumes around 18 million barrels of oil per day, and that was particularly low due to the pandemic.