President Joe Biden on Tuesday announced a ban on all imports to the United States of Russian oil. Sen. Dan Sullivan said he should have done it months ago.
The United Kingdom is preparing a similar ban, according to European media citing unnamed sources, although European Union countries are not following suit. European nations are heavily dependent on Russian energy, a result of European Union policy over the past several years that gave Russia decided control over their economies.
“…Goal of US policy is to prevent letting tyrants like Putin use energy as a weapon in the future. Putin seems determined to continue on his murderous path no matter the cost. I call on Congress to pass the $12 billion Ukraine assistance package,” Biden said in his statement today.
“Putin’s war is already hurting American families at the gas pump since Putin began his military buildup on Ukrainian borders,” Biden said. “And with this action, it’s going to go up further. I’m going to do everything I can to minimize Putin’s price hike here at home and coordination with our partners. Americans have rallied to support the Ukrainian people and made it clear we will not be part of subsidizing Putin’s war.”
The United States imports oil from Russia, but it only amounts to about 3 percent of all the crude imports. Imports of Russian oil and petroleum products represented about 8% of the U.S. total in 2021.
Alaska Senate candidate Kelly Tshibaka put out an immediate response:
“It’s not often that I agree with something President Biden has done, but he is right to ban the U.S. purchase of oil from Russia. Now all he has to do is reverse all of his other policies that have assaulted Alaska’s energy industries so we can return America to energy independence,” Tshibaka said. “Biden attacked domestic production – and specifically Alaska – on his first day in office and every day since, hurting our country’s ability to have any leverage with other oil-producing nations. The fact that he is begging Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, Iran, and OPEC to increase their production is an embarrassment and proof that the environmental extremists who control his administration are actually making our foreign policy decisions as well. He’s fine with increasing the oil supply, just as long as it doesn’t happen in the United States.”
Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s office also issued a response, saying that she and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), Chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee welcomed the announcement.
“This announcement follows the lead of Senators Manchin and Murkowski’s bipartisan, bicameral Ban Russian Energy Imports Act, which would prohibit the importation of Russian crude oil, petroleum, petroleum products, liquefied natural gas and coal. Introduced last week, the legislation has already received support from 36 Senate sponsors,” she wrote.
On Twitter, U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan said the ban should have happened weeks ago and is not enough.
“He needs to quit asking dictators, like those in Venezuela and Iran, for more oil and gas, and instead expand energy production here in America—with our own workers. We should NOT be reliant on brutal dictators. The President needs to tell the truth: We CAN produce the oil and gas we need right here in the United States. Americans should NOT be paying outrageous energy costs,” Sullivan said.
Alaska North Slope Crude rose to $120.72 per barrel, the highest in over a decade, and is expected to climb further this week on the news. Gas prices at the pump in the Lower 48 are already the highest in history, according to federal price tracking going back to 1990.