U.S. weighs cutting Russian oil imports amid broad public support

The Russian supertanker Astro Lupus waits in the Gulf of Mexico to unload a cargo of Russian crude oil in Houston. (2002, Getty Pictures)


WASHINGTON — The Biden administration is weighing cutting U.S. imports of Russian oil and techniques to lower the affect on world wide provides and people, the White Residence mentioned on Friday, as lawmakers fast-track a invoice that would ban Russian energy imports completely.

“We are seeking at methods to lower the import of Russian oil though also creating positive that we are maintaining the world-wide supply desires out there,” White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki informed reporters at a briefing. The White Property continues to be in get hold of 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 energy imports in response to the invasion of Ukraine, calling it a counter to Russia “weaponizing” electricity.

The monthly bill is acquiring quick-tracked in the Senate, and the White Household could count on the legislation to ban imports, a move that would aid share the blame for any rate spikes.

A broad bipartisan vast majority of Individuals imagine the United States should really prevent shopping for Russian oil, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll concluded on Friday. Some 80% of People in america — like solid majorities of Republicans and Democrats — support the measure.

However, the White Dwelling is proceeding cautiously, anxious about a spike in gasoline charges that would include to a long time-significant inflation.

People in america are by significantly the world’s heaviest buyers of gasoline, thanks to huge automobiles, lengthy driving distances and small community transportation in a lot of places, and soaring gas rates have customarily been political poison for U.S. leaders.

The United States imported more than 20.4 million barrels of crude and refined goods a month on common in 2021 from Russia, about 8% of U.S. liquid fuel imports, in accordance to the Electricity Details Administration (EIA).

White Property financial adviser Cecilia Rouse pointed out that although the United States does not import a lot Russian oil, it is still examining a range of probable methods.

“What is actually actually most important is that we retain (a) continuous supply of world electrical power,” she reported at the briefing, adding that the administration was “taking into consideration a variety of alternatives that we could choose right now if we were heading to minimize” use of Russian power.

Their responses arrive as oil selling prices have soared around the past week right after the United States and its allies sanctioned Russia adhering to its invasion of Ukraine.