White House Won’t Block Russian Oil Despite Bipartisan Support

White House Won't Block Russian Oil Despite Bipartisan Support

(RightWing.org) – While Russia continues its unprovoked invasion into Ukraine, threatens its neighbors with potential aggression, and warns the West to stay out of it or face severe consequences, the United States and European allies are trying to cut off Russia’s money supply. However, the problem is challenging because Europe is dependent on Russian oil, and the United States is no longer energy independent.

Recently, members of Congress and the media wanted the Biden administration to cut Russian oil off at the kneecap. Many argue that Russian President Vladimir Putin uses the money from oil sales to finance his war efforts. Still, the administration continues to express reluctance to go that far despite widespread bipartisan support for such a measure.

Lawmakers Try to Force Biden to Cut Off Russian Oil

In early 2021, President Joe Biden ordered the government to revoke the Keystone XL Pipeline permit and signed an executive order to end oil and natural gas drilling on federal lands. It was part of his agreement with the far-Left to begin curtailing emissions. Within months, the United States went from being energy independent for the first time in decades back to energy dependency.

By last summer, gas prices were on the rise, and by fall, the president asked OPEC to drill more oil while keeping US energy producers sidelined. Now that Russia is unwavering in its war against Ukraine, the market is driving oil and gas prices even higher. Still, lawmakers say that the US should cut off Russian oil imports to drive Russia’s economy downward to pressure its military campaign against Ukraine.

On Thursday, March 3, Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) introduced legislation in the Senate that would create a national emergency and order President Biden to ban Russian oil imports into the United States. Nine Republicans joined the legislation as co-sponsors along with scores of Democrats. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said crushing Russia’s oil and gas would be a lethal blow to the Russian economy. Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) agreed with Graham’s sentiment, adding the US couldn’t criticize Europe for depending on Russian oil while we spend US money on it as well.

Earlier in the week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said she was all in on banning Russian oil into the United States. Yet, she is also unwilling to advocate for more oil drilling in the US to meet the energy needs of the American people and businesses.

White House Rebuffs Calls

Despite the widespread bipartisan support, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said on Thursday, March 3, that the administration is imposing a maximum impact strategy while attempting to minimize the impact to the US and its allies. In the end, it may not matter much. In 2020, the US imported 1% of its oil from Russia, yet nearly 50% of Russian oil exports went to Europe. 2021 saw that the US percentage increase to 8%.

Some lawmakers, such as Manchin, believe the US should start drilling again to increase supplies in America and export them to meet Europe’s needs. Energy experts say that re-opening the XL Keystone Pipeline would offset any oil coming from Russia and leave plenty left over.

What will the Biden administration do as gas prices continue to climb?

Stay tuned.

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