Listen to this article here
President Joe Biden on Tuesday announced a ban of Russian energy imports into the United States. The executive order signed by the president bans all oil, liquified natural gas and coal imports from Russia. As people google “does the U.S. import Russian oil,” the answer is a clear, “not anymore.”
A bi-partisan group of lawmakers began calling on the president to issue the ban last week. Calls for action grew as Russian President Vladimir Putin continued his unprovoked, illegal and barbaric invasion of Ukraine.
The White House was reportedly hoping to convince other NATO allies to join them in the ban. It became clear that many European countries were not ready to move forward, so Biden chose to take action alone.
“The United States is able to take this step because of our strong domestic energy infrastructure,” the White House said in a statement. “We recognize that not all of our Allies and partners are currently in a position to join us.”
The statement says the US remains “united with our Allies and partners in working together to reduce our collective dependence on Russian energy.”
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy took to Twitter to praise President Biden’s decision.
Zelenskyy said he was grateful for Biden’s “personal leadership in striking the heart of Putin’s war machine and banning oil, gas and coal from US market.”
While the US remains alone in the ban, Zelenskyy said he “encourage[s] other countries and leaders to follow.”
Thankful for US and @POTUS personal leadership in striking in the heart of Putin’s war machine and banning oil, gas and coal from US market. Encourage other countries and leaders to follow.
— Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) March 8, 2022
Biden Ban on energy from Russia highlights need for less dependency on oil
Republicans and Democrats in the U.S. praised President Biden’s actions.
Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), said on Twitter he was “glad Biden had finally cut off the oil from Russia.” In a video message, the former Presidential candidate went on to encourage more drilling for American oil.
Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) also took to Twitter to say “a ban on Russian oil is exactly what is needed”.
A ban on Russian oil is exactly what is needed—we should have never been funding Putin’s war!
But the current price spikes in gas didn’t happen overnight. President Biden’s obstruction of U.S. oil & gas production drove up prices over the last year. https://t.co/QhcZFy8GWi
— Tim Scott (@SenatorTimScott) March 8, 2022
Senators Scott, Rubio and most other Republicans agree with Biden’s ban. They all, however, are also using rising gas prices to cast doubt on President Biden’s decision to limit oil drilling. In February, the president issued a moratorium on licensing new drilling sites as a means of combatting climate change.
This move, however, does not limit oil companies from drilling in established wells. According to reports, the number of active oil wells in the U.S. has been steadily increasing since Summer 2020. The decision on whether or not to increase production rests largely with oil company executives.
Stephanie Ruhle, a senior business analyst for NBC News, spoke to European efforts to end dependence on Russian oil by increasing green energy production.
“EU aiming to Cut Russia Gas Dependence by almost 80% this year is speeding up their green plan by about a decade,” Ruhle wrote in a tweet.
“Needing less gas is a great way to reduce regional dependency.”