Lawmakers push for ban on Russian oil and gas imports

Published: Mar. 3, 2022 at 4:27 PM EST
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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - President Joe Biden is facing calls from lawmakers to sanction Russian energy exports, as the conflict continues to develop in Ukraine.

White House Press secretary Jen Psaki said during an interview Tuesday, President Biden is considering “additional steps” to shore up oil. She noted he does not want to “impact Americans with higher energy and gas prices.”

On Capitol Hill, lawmakers from both sides of the aisle are pressuring the administration to act.

Calling for American Energy Independence, Sen. Roger Marshall (R-K.S.) is sponsoring a bill urging Biden to ban the U.S purchase of Russian oil.

“The number one sanction the president could put on Vladimir Putin is embargoed oil from Russia,” said Marshall. “If the if the European Union and America get together and say, look, no more oil from Russia, that’s what’s going to financially break him and stop this war right now.”

Progressive Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) rolled out his own legislation on the topic. His ‘Severing Putin’s Immense Gains from Oil Transfers (SPIGOT) Act’ also aims to impose Russian oil sanctions. He claims there is a “global addiction to oil” and instead wants to see a commitment to clean energy alternatives.

According to American Petroleum Institute CEO Mike Sommers though, oil is a global commodity, and every barrel will find a home.

“That oil will probably find its way into Asian markets or elsewhere in the world,” said Sommers.

Sommers says American companies are already choosing not to import from Russia in opposition to the war.

“I think a lot of what the president may be talking about now is happening voluntarily,” he said.

President Biden has warned the global economic pressure on Russia could end up hurting American consumers, especially at the gas pump.

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