U.S. in talks with allies to ban Russian oil imports

Mar 7, 2022

On Sunday, Secretary of State Tony Blinken told reporters that the Biden administration is in talks with European allies to institute a ban on importing oil and natural gas from Russia. The move comes after a bipartisan coalition of lawmakers, including Western state senators, introduced legislation to unilaterally ban Russian oil imports in the United States. While Europe imports a substantial amount of fossil fuels from Russia, the United States imports no natural gas and relatively little oil from the country.

Oil companies and trade associations have cynically exploited the war in Ukraine to blame the Biden administration for high gas prices and call for more drilling on America’s public lands. Upon even the slightest examination, however, these calls ring hollow, as the oil industry is sitting on a stockpile of more than 9,000 approved, but unused, public lands drilling permits. Similarly, to the dismay of many environmentalists, the Biden administration has approved drilling permits at a rate faster than the Trump administration did throughout its first three years. Moreover, in earnings reports and on calls with shareholders, oil companies have made it clear they have no plans to ramp up production.

Global dependence on fossil fuels is at the heart of the war in Ukraine. Russia is funding its aggression with profits from oil sales and using the threat of cutting off exports to wreak havoc on the international community. While it is impossible to shift global energy consumption overnight, it is clear that the road to a safer, more sustainable future—one less dependent on hostile nations—is paved with renewable energy.

Quick hits

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Push to ban imports of Russian oil gains steam

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Opinion: Oil and gas lobbyists are using Ukraine to push for a drilling free-for-all in the U.S.

The Guardian

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Quote of the day

”With the facts laid bare, we see the fossil-fuel industry’s crocodile tears for what they are – the same old demands for cheaper leases and looser regulations they’ve been peddling for decades. These pleas have nothing to do with countering Putin’s invasion or stabilizing gas prices, and everything to do with making oil and gas development as easy and profitable as possible.”

Representative Raúl Grijalva, chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee

Picture this

The Rio Chama with colorful flora surrounding it

Happy #WildandScenicWednesday! The Rio Chama, a major tributary of the Rio Grande in northern NM, features towering cliffs and canyons, forests rich with animal species, centuries of Pueblo culture, and an an outstanding wild river backdrop for a hiker, fisherman, or boater.

(featured image: LNG export tanker | Amanda Graham, Flickr)