Oil and vinegar: Tories and Pelosi agree to restrict Russian energy exports |
It’s not often that conservative U.S. Representatives Cliff Bentz of Oregon and Doug LaMalfa of California agree with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
But the two Republican congressmen from the region and the Democratic leader are on common ground when it comes to restricting Russian oil and extending US and NATO sanctions on the president’s abundant energy supplies. Vladimir Poutine.
Russia is the world’s third largest oil producer with 11% of the world total, behind only the United States (20%) and Saudi Arabia (12%), according to federal data. The United States is the largest consumer of oil and gasoline in the world, absorbing 20% of supplies. China and India follow with 14% and 5% respectively, according to the US Department of Energy.
US President Joe Biden and European leaders failed to restrict oil and gas imports as part of economic and financial sanctions against Moscow after invading Ukraine. There is pressure to change this from all political walks of life despite concerns about rising oil and gasoline prices.
“MP LaMalfa doesn’t think we should buy oil or gas from Russia. We should expand domestic production and pipelines in the United States to reduce costs domestically,” said Mark Spannagel, chief of staff for LaMalfa, which represents California’s northernmost first congressional district.
Bentz, a Republican representing southern Oregon, said on March 1 that the United States should “immediately stop buying oil from Russia and remove impediments to the drilling of oil and gas wells on our public lands and the construction of pipelines to transport our oil and gas to market”. ”
Pelosi agrees to extend sanctions to Russian oil and gas imports. The Democratic president expressed his support for energy restrictions on Thursday.
“I totally agree,” Pelosi said referring to Russian oil. “Ban it off”.
Pelosi and the two Republican congressmen are still very different on increasing domestic oil and gas drilling. The Biden administration cut household energy production after taking office last year. Democrats are also pushing the Green New Deal — a sweeping program focused on renewable energy.
GOP lawmakers see Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and escalating war as good reasons to increase domestic oil production. They also criticize Biden’s energy policies which have focused more on environmental stewardship and steered the US economy towards renewable sources to mitigate climate change.
“Since taking office, the Biden administration has created the current energy crisis by canceling the Keystone XL pipeline, prohibiting the leasing of oil and natural gas on federal lands and waters, and imposing significant regulatory burdens on the American energy production,” LaMalfa said in a social post. media statement on Friday. “We must immediately stop buying oil from Russia and reverse these disastrous energy and economic policies.”
The Biden administration has been reluctant to impose sanctions on Russian oil and gas exports due to the potential impact on already rising crude oil and gasoline prices.
Crude oil closed above $118 a barrel on Friday, down from $69 a barrel a year ago. Gas prices in the United States now average $3.84 a gallon, down from $2.75 a gallon a year ago, according to AAA.
In Oregon, gasoline prices averaged $4.28 per gallon on Friday, up 28 cents per gallon during the week and $1.30 per gallon during the last year.
In Klamath County, gasoline prices average $4.30 per gallon. Gas prices average over $5.07 per gallon in California. Fuel prices are above $4 a gallon in nine US states, including New York, Illinois and Washington, according to AAA.
The two Democratic US senators from Oregon favored the Biden administration’s response to Russia’s war in Ukraine.
U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley, D-Oregon, voiced support for White House efforts to target assets, including luxury items such as yachts, of wealthy Russian oligarchs.
“The confluence of corruption and authoritarianism enabled Putin’s brutality against his own people and the people of Ukraine. Targeting the oligarchs is the right thing to do in itself and also to empty Putin’s war chest,” Merkley said in a social media statement on Thursday.
US Senator Ron Wyden, who chairs the Senate Finance Committee, has introduced a bill to revoke Russia’s favored nation status with the World Trade Organization.
Russia has had WTO status since 2012 and it allows lower tariffs.
“Putin’s unwarranted, unprovoked and appalling invasion of Ukraine shows that he does not believe that international law applies to Russia. You cannot do this and still benefit from normal business relationships,” Wyden said in a statement. “I urge my colleagues to set aside partisanship and quickly revoke Russia’s most favored nation trading status to send a clear message to Putin that invading Ukraine will have devastating consequences for his regime. .
The Oregon Democrat said on March 1 that the Senate Finance Committee is considering approving larger seizures of Russian assets in the United States and increasing money laundering and banking investigations into the movements Russian money.
While Republicans pointed out that Biden’s exit from Afghanistan encouraged Russian President Vladimir Putin to invade Ukraine, Wyden also blamed former President Donald Trump.
“Finally, it’s important to remember that Putin’s invasion path was paved, in part, by Donald Trump’s blackmail of President Zelensky and a bogus Senate ‘investigation’, which sought to embed propaganda against Ukraine,” Wyden said. “In particular, Republican senators relied on the propaganda of Andrii Telizhenko, who, after long delays, was finally sanctioned by the Treasury Department in the final days of the Trump administration.”
The US House of Representatives impeached Trump in 2019 for allegedly withholding military aid from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to advance investigations into Biden and his family’s business deals there. The Senate failed to convict Trump.
“Some Republicans will try to whitewash this story, but the facts are clear. They pushed Russian propaganda in an attempt to justify Donald Trump’s extortion of President Zelensky and his undermining of Ukraine’s national security. Wyden said.