The White House on Thursday voiced opposition to a new bipartisan bill that would ban Russian oil imports saying it would increase already skyrocketing gas prices.
The bill has Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) as lead sponsors and 18 additional co-sponsors, nine from each party.
Manchin eagerly accepted responsibility for any gas price hikes that may result from the legislation.
“If there was a poll being taken and they said, ‘Joe, would you pay 10 cents more per gallon to support the people of Ukraine and stop the support of Russia?’ I would gladly pay 10 cents more per gallon,” he said.
That poll might look different if they were asking Joe America if he wants to keep paying more at the pump, however.
The bill even received support from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).
“I’m all for that,” she said. “Ban it.”
A bipartisan group of lawmakers unveiled a bill that would ban domestic imports of Russian crude oil, petroleum, liquefied natural gas and coal, in a step aimed at choking a critical source of revenue for Russian President Vladimir Putin https://t.co/pbxNBZwq1l
— The Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) March 3, 2022
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White House Doesn’t Want to Ban Russian Oil
At a press briefing on Thursday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki swatted away the idea of banning Russian oil imports.
“Our objective and the president’s objective has been to maximize impact on President Putin and Russia while minimizing impact to us and our allies and partners,” Psaki explained.
“We don’t have a strategic interest in reducing the global supply of energy and that would raise prices at the gas pump for the American people around the world because it would reduce the supply available,” she added.
Psaki faces BRUTAL questions on energy:
“Why not…increase domestic production here?”
“Is there nothing that the administration can do?”
“We should just continue to buy Russian oil?”
“Aren’t we financing the war?”
Psaki says we should invest in clean energy. pic.twitter.com/8mbV3fpLqK
— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) March 3, 2022
Manchin responded to those comments by saying, “They are so wrong,” adding that Psaki’s talking points are “irresponsible.”
Leading up to President Biden’s State of the Union speech, Manchin was highly critical of the administration for not touching American energy purchases as a means to punish Russian President Vladimir Putin for his invasion of Ukraine.
“It’s ridiculous, totally ridiculous,” he fumed, adding that “we’re buying over 600,000 barrels a day of crude from Russia.”
ICYMI: In an @EnergyDems hearing yesterday, Chairman @Sen_JoeManchin criticized the hypocrisy of importing Russian crude oil amid their invasion of Ukraine & again urged the Administration to ban Russian oil imports & act quickly to ensure American energy independence & security. pic.twitter.com/YMuI6QItEC
— SenateEnergyDems (@EnergyDems) March 2, 2022
Gas Prices Are Off the Charts
It’s nice that the White House is suddenly concerned about skyrocketing gas prices but it begs the question of where they’ve been this whole time.
And are we so dependent on Russian oil imports as a nation that it would make a significant impact on prices? If so, isn’t that the very crux of the problem?
As Russian aggression in Ukraine became amplified, the White House warned Americans about rising gas prices that an energy-independent nation – as America was under President Trump – would never have to be concerned about.
Reporter: “Americans should expect higher gasoline prices” from Russia sanctions?
Psaki: “Yes, energy prices. That’s what we want the American public to be aware is a possibility.” pic.twitter.com/BYFFeN9w1x
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) February 22, 2022
If you blinked, you might have missed just how ridiculously high the gas prices have gone in the last few days alone.
Some New Yorkers, this author included, are reporting an uptick of 40 cents per gallon for regular unleaded within a 48-hour timeframe at certain gas stations.
Long-term, Psaki suggests the plan as per usual is to invest in “clean energy” sectors.
“What we can do over time and what this is a … reminder of, in the President’s view, is our need to reduce our reliance on oil,” she said.
“The Europeans need to do that; we need to do that. If we do more to invest in clean energy, more to invest in other sources of energy, that’s exactly what we can do to prevent this from happening in the future.”
The Trump administration handed President Biden an energy-independent nation and Psaki, rather than try to get back to that, wants to lecture Americans on their use of oil.