U.S. President Joe Biden has banned the import of oil and gas imports from Russia to the United States. The announcement was the most recent step to punish Vladimir Putin for the invasion of Ukraine.
In statement on March 8, Biden recognized that the action would increase the cost of gasoline for consumers. He warned against price hikes from oil and gas producers.
“This is no time for profiteering or price gouging,” the president said, while also recognizing companies that have pulled out of operating or investing in Russia.
Biden highlighted that the United States and its allies have announced the release of 60 million barrels of crude oil from reserves as a measure help keep gas prices down and to ensure an adequate supply of petroleum.
On March 1, the U.S. Department of Energy committed to releasing 30 million barrels of crude oil from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR), as part of a coordinated effort among the 31 members of the International Energy Agency (IEA). Other IEA member countries collectively agreed to release an additional 30 million barrels of petroleum from their emergency reserves.
The president defended his energy policies and said, “It’s simply not true that my administration is holding back oil and gas production.” He added that U.S. producers were on track to set a new record in production next year and urged the importance of weening the country off the need for imported fossil fuels.
“This crisis is a stark reminder that we have to protect our economy long-term by becoming energy independent,” Biden said.
Reducing the need for imported energy sources will lead to greater independence for all countries, he said. Furthermore, the president said he would not pull back on clean energy investment, as he argued it would not reduce costs.
“Further investment in these areas will (reduce costs),” he said. “We need to become energy independent, so that tyrants like Putin cannot use fossil fuels as a weapon against the rest of world.”
Russian exports account for about 8 percent of the global oil supply. In the last six months of 2021, Russia accounted for about 7.4 percent of total U.S. crude oil and other petroleum products imports.Tags: Imports, President Joseph R. Biden, Russia, Ukraine