Rep. Dean Phillips of Minnesota admitted that banning the importation of Russian oil would “surely increase” gas prices, but he still called on the United States to do it anyway.
In a Monday evening tweet, Phillips said the U.S. spends over $1 billion each month on Russian oil, which implicitly helps fund the “war machine” of President Vladimir Putin.
But, Phillips continued, “while banning Russian imports will surely increase the price of fuel, we should do so immediately and identify ways to mitigate the impact to American families.”
The United States purchases over $1 billion worth of Russian oil per month, which supports Putin’s war machine. While banning Russian imports will surely increase the price of fuel, we should do so immediately and identify ways to mitigate the impact to American families.
— Rep. Dean Phillips 🇺🇸 (@RepDeanPhillips) March 1, 2022
Phillips’ tweet is reminiscent of remarks made last week by White House press secretary Jen Psaki. When Fox News reporter Peter Doocy pointed out how gas prices in California have reached $5 a gallon in some places and asked if Americans in other states should expect the same, Psaki said “standing up for our values is not without cost.”
“What we’re trying to do is minimize that cost,” she added. “So I don’t have a prediction of it right now, because we’re trying to minimize the impact on the global energy markets.”
High gas prices have been a thorn in the side of the Biden administration throughout the president’s tenure. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine late last week has only exacerbated the increase in the price of oil worldwide. Russia is the world’s largest natural gas exporter and the second-largest oil exporter, and Ukraine possesses no shortage of natural gas and oil either.
The call to ban Russian oil imports is one of many ideas floating around on how best to punish Russia for taking military action against Ukraine. The Russian government has been facing strong sanctions that have crippled the ruble and led the stock market to close for trading through at least Wednesday. Stocks are expected to tank once the Moscow Stock Exchange reopens.
President Joe Biden waived sanctions against the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, extending from Russia to Germany, just last May but reimposed some sanctions last week.
Biden also canceled the Keystone XL pipeline on Jan. 21 of last year, his first full day in office. Advocates of Keystone XL argued it would’ve created more jobs and put America on the path to becoming more energy independent.