To weaken Putin, target Russian oil and boost US energy production
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More than a third of Vladimir Putin’s budget comes from the sale of Russian oil and natural gas. Congress must target this – and more – to hold Putin accountable, in the long run, for his unacceptable aggression against the Ukrainian people. In addition to banning Russian energy imports, we must revoke favorable trade relations with Russia and Belarus, and give the president the power to raise tariffs on nearly half of the imports Russia sells to the United States. . Putin cannot enjoy the same trading status as our NATO allies and other international partners. Instead, Russia belongs to the same trading pariah status as North Korea and Cuba.
The United States should also use its influence to deny Russia the trade benefits it enjoys from other countries as a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO), since it denies those same benefits to Ukraine. WTO members should punish tyrants and war criminals.
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President Biden recently announced that the United States, along with other NATO and G7 allies – Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom as well as the European Union will take steps to deny most-favoured-nation status to Russia. As the Republican leader of the Senate Finance Committee, I presented bipartisan legislation with my counterpart, President Ron Wyden (D-Oregon), who is achieving these goals by banning the import of energy products from Russia and Belarus and revoking trade benefits from both countries. The President’s announcement reinforces the need for Congress to quickly pass this legislation.
That’s only half the equation, however. With inflation and gas prices soaring to new heights, it’s time for President Biden to change his mind on another issue that empowers Vladimir Putin: domestic energy production. Rather than asking Venezuela and OPEC to increase production, US oil and gas production must replace Russian energy imports so that we have more jobs, stable energy prices and the capacity to meet the energy needs of our allies, instead of leaving them at the mercy of Putin.
With inflation and gas prices soaring to new heights, it’s time for President Biden to change his mind on another issue that empowers Vladimir Putin: domestic energy production.
Despite attempts to blame rising energy prices on efforts to punish Russia for its premeditated attacks on a free and independent Ukraine, the skyrocketing cost of gas in Idaho and across the country continues For more than one year. Just three years ago, under Republican leadership, the United States became a net oil exporter for the first time since World War II. Hours after taking office, President Biden launched his campaign against home power generation by canceling the Keystone pipeline. A week later, he ordered the Home Office to “suspend new oil and natural gas leases on public lands or in offshore waters.” Although a federal court has thankfully blocked that action, the president’s campaign against domestic oil and gas production continues to hold back development. Unsurprisingly, a year into his administration, gas prices for Americans have risen 40%, oil imports have increased, and the country’s traditional energy producers have faced numerous attacks, while the administration encourages Iran – a state sponsor of terror – and Venezuela – a brutal communist regime. – to produce more.
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Enough. Freeing up U.S. oil and gas production to not only replace Russian imports – and help stabilize prices at the pump – but also to facilitate exports to support our allies and end their dependence on Russia. That means jobs at home, stronger allies, and a weaker Putin.
Congress should counter Russian aggression and advance pro-American energy proposals. This includes the enactment of fellow Idaho Senator Jim Risch’s NYET Act, which will impose additional real costs on Russia and lead to massive economic consequences for the Russian economy. I also co-sponsored the American Energy Independence from Russia Act, the Keystone XL Pipeline Construction and Jobs Preservation Act, and the Protecting Our Wealth of Energy Resources (POWER) Act, which would reverse a number of President Biden’s onerous actions against the American oil and gas industry and put us back on a better path to energy independence.
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We witness with horror the increasing aggression of Vladimir Putin towards the Ukrainian people which threatens regional and international security. Our respect for the extraordinary resolve, ingenuity and determination of the Ukrainian people must be backed by strong American policies. The timely enactment of S. 3786, the NYET Act, and other policy changes that replace Russian energy imports with domestic energy production, revoke Russia’s undeserved commercial status, and provide a mechanism for Raising tariffs on Russia further are steps we must take quickly to help crush all the foundations of Putin’s horrific agenda.