The U.S. can't support Ukraine and buy Russian oil, too

Why is it that the one thing the U.S. ought to do to show support for Ukraine is the last thing President Joe Biden is willing to do, so far?

President Biden could order the United States to stop purchasing oil and natural gas from Russia in response to Russia invading Ukraine. So why won’t he do that?

Maybe because to do so he would have to unleash the U.S. oil and gas industry, which goes the opposite direction that his green-new-deal supporters want him to go. 

The price of gasoline at the pump is increasing in the U.S. due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine and President Biden’s anti-U.S. oil policies. Americans are suffering needlessly.

“My administration is using every tool at its disposal to protect American families and businesses from rising prices at the gas pump,” Biden said at a recent press conference, adding that his newest sanctions were specifically designed to allow Russian energy payments to continue.

Not true.

Prior to Biden being sworn in as president, the U.S. was a net exporter of oil for the first time in more than 40 years.

After Biden was sworn in as president, he shut down the Keystone Pipeline that would have provided this country with oil from our friendly neighbor to the north - Canada - if we ever needed it. Biden also stopped all U.S. oil and gas exploration on government-owned land.

Russia is the world’s third largest oil producer and those fossil fuels contributed 36 percent of Moscow’s budget in 2021, or $119 billion in revenues.

The U.S. purchased 7 percent of its crude oil from Russia in 2021 and is currently purchasing a whopping 700,000 barrels of oil per day or 255 million barrels per year.

Europe is much more directly dependent, buying 40 percent of its natural gas and a quarter of its crude oil from Russia.

The sanctions that the U.S. has enacted since Russia invaded Ukraine to punish Russian leader Vladimir Putin’s territorial ambitions specifically carve out exemptions for oil and gas energy purchases from Russia.

Last spring, U.S. imports of Russian oil hit the highest level in a decade. In  August, Russia became the second-highest exporter of oil to the United States.

Still Biden’s people say, “We’re not going to do anything which causes an unintended disruption to the flow of energy as a global economic recovery is still underway,” Deputy National Security Advisor Daleep Singh said at the White House recently.

The shale boom in the U.S. over the past 15 years turned this country into the world’s energy powerhouse, until Biden  tried to  shut everything down.

 “The United States can tilt the balance of power in Europe by increasing liquefied natural gas exports to the continent, helping to reduce our allies’ decades-long dependence on Russian natural gas — and the economic, political, and military vulnerabilities that accompany it,” Anne Bradbury, head of the American Exploration and Production Council, wrote in a Houston Chronicle op-ed recently.

If you consider how much the U.S. is paying Russia annually for oil (the U.S. paid about $7 billion for 10 million barrels of oil in 2016 and the buying more from Russia now) you have to wonder who our U.S. leaders are supporting in the Russian invasion of Ukraine. 

In 2020, U.S. foreign aid to Ukraine (mostly military) was about $679.9 million. 

The U.S. is funding both sides of the Russia-Ukraine war.

U.S. citizens might be able to accept the higher gas prices at the pump, if we were buying U.S. produced gasoline.               

The Holton Recorder

109 W. Fourth St.
Holton, KS 66436
Phone: 785-364-3141

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