A bill on banning Russian oil imports to the U.S. is introduced in Congress
A bipartisan group of lawmakers from the House and Senate has introduced a bill to ban U.S. imports of Russian oil, petroleum products, liquefied natural gas, and coal. The move seeks to cut off an important source of revenue for Russian President Vladimir Putin following his decision to invade Ukraine.
Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who introduced the Russian Energy Import Ban Act along with Democratic colleague Joe Manchin, said the bill differs from many others introduced in recent days in that it has supporters in both parties and in both houses of Congress.
“That means it has promise,” said Murkowski, the top Republican on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. The head of that committee is Manchin.
“We will no longer send dollars to Russia to help them kill innocent people,” Murkowski said at a news conference. – This bill would do that.”
The bill would declare a state of emergency because Russia’s attack on Ukraine poses a threat to U.S. security, foreign policy and the economy. During this period, the bill requires the president to ban imports of Russian oil, petroleum products, LNG and coal. An exception is supposed to be made for goods that are already in transit or being loaded at the time the law goes into effect.
“Putin has turned energy into a weapon,” said one of the bill’s co-sponsors, Democratic Senator John Tester. – I don’t think our country should import anything from Russia. The fact of the matter is that its energy supplies are what Putin depends on for his finances, and he depends on them to fight this war in Ukraine.”
Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, another co-sponsor of the bill, said that if other countries also ban Russian oil imports, it would be a crushing blow to Putin.
“I hope that in time the world will follow our lead,” Graham said.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she supports a ban on Russian oil imports.
“I’m all for a ban. A ban on oil from Russia,” she said.
Asked by reporters about the impact on American consumers who could face higher gasoline prices, Manchin said he would gladly pay 10 cents more per gallon to help Ukrainians.