A common view exhibits an area oil refinery behind residential buildings in Omsk, Russia, February 10, 2021. Photograph by Reuters/Alexey Malgavko
The Biden administration is weighing slicing U.S. imports of Russian oil and methods to reduce the affect on world provides and customers, the White Home stated on Friday, as lawmakers fast-track a invoice that may ban Russian power imports fully.
“We’re taking a look at methods to scale back the import of Russian oil whereas additionally ensuring that we’re sustaining the worldwide provide wants on the market,” White Home spokeswoman Jen Psaki advised reporters at a briefing. The White Home stays involved with U.S. lawmakers over the difficulty, she stated.
U.S. Senators Joe Manchin, a West Virginia Democrat, and Lisa Murkowski, an Alaska Republican, on Thursday proposed bipartisan laws to ban Russian power imports in response to the invasion of Ukraine, calling it a counter to Russia “weaponizing” power.
The invoice is getting fast-tracked within the Senate, and the White Home may depend on the laws to ban imports, a transfer that may assist share the blame for any worth spikes.
A broad bipartisan majority of People assume america ought to cease shopping for Russian oil, in response to a Reuters/Ipsos ballot accomplished on Friday. Some 80 p.c of People – together with stable majorities of Republicans and Democrats – help the measure.
Nonetheless, the White Home is continuing cautiously, involved a few spike in gasoline costs that may add to decades-high inflation.
People are by far the world’s heaviest customers of gasoline, because of huge automobiles, lengthy driving distances and little public transportation in lots of areas, and rising gasoline costs have historically been political poison for U.S. leaders.
The US imported greater than 20.4 million barrels of crude and refined merchandise a month on common in 2021 from Russia, about 8 p.c of U.S. liquid gas imports, in response to the Power Data Administration (EIA).
White Home financial adviser Cecilia Rouse famous that whereas america doesn’t import a lot Russian oil, it’s nonetheless reviewing a variety of attainable steps.
“What’s actually most vital is that we preserve (a) regular provide of world power,” she stated on the briefing, including that the administration was “contemplating a variety of choices that we may take proper now if we have been going to chop” consumption of Russian power.
Their feedback come as oil costs have soared over the previous week after america and its allies sanctioned Russia following its invasion of Ukraine.