In retribution for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, President Joe Biden announced an embargo on Russian oil and other energy imports on Tuesday, highlighting strong bipartisan support for a move that he admitted would raise U.S. energy costs.
Biden told reporters at the White House, “We’re prohibiting all imports of Russian oil and gas energy.” “This means Russian oil will no longer be accepted in US ports, and the American people will give (Russian President Vladimir) Putin’s war machine another powerful blow.”
Benchmark Brent crude LCOc1 for May rose 5.4 percent to $129.91 a barrel by 1345 GMT as a result of the news.
Biden has been working with European partners who are significantly more reliant on Russian oil to isolate Putin and Russia’s energy-intensive economy. Shortly before Biden’s remarks, the United Kingdom stated that it would phase out the purchase of Russian oil and oil derivatives by the end of 2022.
Sanctions implemented by the US and its allies, according to Biden, have already led the Russian economy to “crater.” He stated that the most recent actions were done in close collaboration with allies and partners around the world.
Russia exports between 4 and 5 million barrels of crude oil per day, as well as over 8,500 billion cubic feet of natural gas every year.
According to the Energy Information Administration, the United States imported more than 20.4 million barrels of crude and refined products per month on average from Russia in 2021, accounting for about 8% of total liquid fuel imports, and the ban is expected to drive up already high gasoline prices and inflation. In addition, the United States imports a little amount of coal from Russia.
Biden projected that as a result of “Putin’s conflict,” prices will rise even more, but vowed to do everything he could to mitigate the impact on the American people. He also urged US gas providers against profiteering or price gouging by taking advantage of the situation.
Senator Chris Coons of the United States stated the government was working with European partners to “ensure that we’ve laid the framework to understand how to properly execute a ban on Russian energy.”
“Here in the United States, gas costs are expected to rise. Prices are expected to rise dramatically across Europe. That is the price of standing up for freedom and with the Ukrainian people, but it will cost us as well “CNN spoke with Coons.
The White House had been coordinating with US congressional leaders on fast-tracking bipartisan legislation to ban Russian imports, but any such bill would be rendered meaningless if Russian imports were banned.
Republican senators praised the move on social media, while criticizing Biden’s green energy initiatives and urging the administration to promote greater domestic oil and gas production.
Susan Wild, a U.S. Representative, stated that Americans must recognize the need for a greater sacrifice. On MSNBC, Wild, a Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said, “Obviously nobody wants to pay more for petrol.”
Britain said it is providing the market and businesses more than enough time to find alternatives to the imports, which account for 8% of demand, by declaring that it will phase out Russian oil and oil products imports by the end of 2022.
“Through a new Taskforce on Oil, the government will also work with companies to support them in using this period to discover alternative suppliers,” British Business and Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng stated.