Energy independence has always been important to the U.S. However, cutting off the Russian oil oligarchs is more critical now than ever.
Sen. Roger Marshall (R-KS) introduced a bill Tuesday that would ban Russian oil imports, the Washington Times reported. He was joined by ranking Energy Committee member Sen. John Barrasso and at least eight other GOP lawmakers.
On Monday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau blocked the import of Russian crude oil into his country, according to Fox Digital News. Though they only receive a small portion from Putin, Trudeau said it “sends a powerful message” just the same. The U.S. could follow suit with Marshall’s bill.
“First and foremost, President Biden needs to restart America’s energy production and quit funding Vladimir Putin’s war on Ukraine by continuing to purchase crude oil from Russia,” Marshall said of the Russian president. Last week, Putin invaded Ukraine after getting little pushback from NATO or the U.S.
Though the bill doesn’t have bipartisan support, Republican lawmakers would make serious inroads for President Joe Biden in the party. “Make no mistake, if President Biden finds the courage to do this, we would without question work with him every step of the way,” Marshall said.
Biden has imposed sanctions on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, but Marshall’s bill would be the first step toward hitting Putin where it hurts most. White House press secretary Jen Psaki has said that sanctions against Russian energy are not “off the table.”
Americans are already paying more at the pump, but it has more to do with Biden’s unwillingness to encourage domestic oil production. The price per barrel for crude oil was at $105.52 on Tuesday with the world market already in a tailspin.
Regardless of the crisis, Biden has a knack for doing all of the wrong things. If Marshall’s bill can force his hand, it would be an improvement over the current approach, which lacks any real substance.