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Kansas Senators Respond to President Biden’s Announcement to Ban U.S. Purchase of Russian Oil

Senators called for POTUS to issue ban ahead of the State of the Union

WASHINGTON – Kansas U.S. Senators Jerry Moran and Roger Marshall, M.D. today issued the following statements after President Biden announced a ban on the U.S. purchase of Russian oil. Ahead of the State of the Union, Sens. Moran and Marshall teamed up on a letter to President Biden calling for an embargo on Russian energy and introduced legislation that would ban the import of Russian oil.

“My colleagues and I made clear the United States cannot continue subsidizing Russia’s aggression by purchasing Russian oil,” said Sen. Moran. “Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine must be a wake-up call to the Biden administration to maximize home-grown energy and not diminish American energy independence. We need an all-of-the-above approach to energy independence, and it can’t be accomplished without enabling our oil and gas producers to play a larger role. Banning the purchase of Russian oil is a good first step, but now President Biden must immediately reinstate the keystone pipeline, allow for new drilling leases on federal lands and waters, and retreat from proposals that would install burdensome regulations and tax increases on domestic oil and gas producers. Until we take these actions to unleash American energy, gas prices will continue to rise and we will remain reliant on our adversaries for energy production.”

“I applaud President Biden for taking this important step, but similar to sanctions on Russia and aid delivered to Ukraine, he is once again late to act. After spending billions to finance Putin’s war on Ukraine, the President must immediately redirect efforts to restart America’s energy production. An announcement to restart the Keystone XL Pipeline would drop the price of oil tomorrow alone,” said Sen. Marshall. “Under the previous Administration, our nation was energy independent but President Biden reversed course and turned hostile nations like Russia into America’s gas station. Now he’s turning to Iran and Venezuela. Joe Biden always talks about the importance of buying American – it’s past time he actually follows through and buys into American energy.”

Sens. Moran and Marshall joined Congressman Tom Cole (OK-4) to call on President Biden to embargo all Russian energy. Read the letter here or below.

March 1, 2022

Dear Mr. President,

We write to urge you to immediately institute an embargo on all Russian energy exports pursuant to your authority under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1702). We also urge you to encourage our allies and partners across the globe to take similar punitive actions against the energy exports of Russian President Putin’s ruthless regime. Energy makes up approximately one-quarter of Russia’s Gross Domestic Product, and as such, an embargo on Russian energy exports would inflict crippling consequences on its economy.

We do not urge this course of action lightly. Putin’s malicious invasion into the sovereign state of Ukraine demands sanctions which will inflict a maximal level of economic pain on the Russian economy necessary to deter further escalation of the conflict. In addition to the hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians displaced as a result of Putin’s war on Ukraine, news reports indicate that more than 350 Ukrainian civilians have been killed, including at least 14 children, in addition to over 1,600 civilians injured thus far. Simply put, Putin must be held to account for the blood on his hands—an American embargo of Russian energy exports would impose a high cost on the Russian economy while also deterring additional bloodshed.

Further, in order to mitigate any price shocks caused as a result of an embargo on Russian energy exports, we encourage you to reevaluate energy policies which have curtailed domestic production of oil and natural gas. In particular, we urge you to reinstate the permit for construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline to allow for the free flow of Canadian crude oil to U.S. refineries. The United States of America must utilize its abundant natural resources, and relationships with energy producing allies, as leverage against a despotic Russian regime that is intent on disrupting peace and threatening global stability.

The United States is currently buying approximately 700,000 barrels of oil and other petroleum products per day from Russia amid its unprovoked invasion of Ukraine. We should be seeking to end Putin’s conflict before it deteriorates even further—it is time to institute an embargo on Russian energy exports.

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