Republican Missouri Senator Josh Hawley pressed for the United States to increase its domestic oil production, in addition to existing sanctions on Russia’s energy industry, in order to respond to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
“Russia’s brutal assault on Ukraine and invasion of its territory must be met with strong American resolve,” Hawley said in a statement Thursday. “President Biden must act now to hit Vladimir Putin where it hurts, beginning with Russia’s energy sector. The Biden Administration should sanction Russian energy production to a halt, and help arm the Ukrainians to defend themselves. At the same time, the White House should reopen American energy production in full. This is the time to show Russia and the world that America will not reward aggression and it will not be dependent on its enemies.”
Hawley followed up his official statement with a tweet Thursday morning announcing legislation to revitalize American energy production. “I will introduce legislation on Monday when the Senate returns to session to lift Joe Biden’s shut down of the American energy sector and return American energy to full production. No more weakness,” the Missouri Senator said.
I will introduce legislation on Monday when the Senate returns to session to lift Joe Biden’s shut down of the American energy sector and return American energy to full production. No more weakness
— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) February 24, 2022
In addition to Hawley, Republican Colorado Congresswoman Lauren Boebert criticized the Biden administration for shutting down the Keystone XL pipeline and relying on Russian oil imports to make up the difference. Boebert called on the Biden administration to revamp oil production. “Putin has been emboldened by Joe Biden’s destructive policies and weak leadership. By killing the [Keystone XL] pipeline on day 1 and lifting sanctions on Nord Stream 2 last May, Biden has allowed Russia to weaponize its energy on the world stage,” Boebert said in a statement posted to Twitter Thursday. “Rather than exporting freedom and natural gas to the world, the Biden regime is importing nearly 600,000 barrels of oil per day from Russia.”
“Biden’s energy moratoriums have helped cause gas prices to soar and the United States is projected to lose its status as a net petroleum exporter this year,” Boebert added. “American strength is imperative. We should regain our strength through energy dominance and ramp up American energy production on American soil, stop cowering to not in my backyard extremists and stop filling the coffers of tyrants.”
From the Office of Congresswoman Lauren Boebert: pic.twitter.com/HzP0oRIWq2
— Rep. Lauren Boebert (@RepBoebert) February 24, 2022
The price of oil briefly crossed $100 per barrel earlier Thursday amidst the invasion of Russia, as The Daily Wire reported. The price of West Texas Intermediate crude oil, the baseline price for U.S. oil, reached $100 per barrel early Thursday morning, while the Brent price, the global standard, rose above $105 around the same time. The second-largest oil producer in the world in 2021, Russian oil accounts for 7% of U.S. oil imports. Imposing sanctions on Russia would likely cause a premium in price of between $5 and $20, according to Forbes, via The Daily Wire. The Biden administration sanctioned the Russian-owned company behind the Nord Stream pipeline Wednesday.
The Biden administration halted the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline after Biden signed an executive order on his first day in office. The administration has also put off new oil and gas drilling leases on federal lands after a federal judge blocked the administration from factoring the “social cost of carbon” into pollution estimates from greenhouse gas emissions. Biden admitted in a press conference Tuesday that the administration’s action in Ukraine would have “costs” for Americans at home.