President Joe Biden’s administration remained at odds with lawmakers Friday, citing “no strategic interest” in banning Russian oil as their actions continue to negatively impact the market anyway.
As previously reported, the U.S. has been buying nearly 600,000 barrels of Russian oil per day as the invasion of Ukraine has continued. This economic arrangement is considered to be directly funding Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war effort and has called into question the sincerity of Biden’s sanctions.
Despite bipartisan calls to take more severe actions against Russia as the invasion has entered a second week, the administration has not swayed from their prepared talking point echoing a “Fact Sheet” memo released Wednesday.
“The United States and our Allies and partners do not have a strategic interest in reducing the global supply of energy,” the memo reads in part.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke to reporters Friday and reiterated, “The sanctions are designed…to have maximum impact on Russia and Putin while minimizing harm to us and our partners,” Fox News reported. “There’s no strategic interest in reducing the global supply of energy.”
By his assessment, “The immediate effect would be to raise prices at the pump for Americans and to pad Russian profits with rising profits.”
White House press secretary Jen Psaki used the same talking points on Thursday as she condescendingly lectured on economics stating, “It’s as simple as less supply, higher prices.”
Psaki: "We don't have a strategic interest in reducing the global supply of energy"
Psaki also said:
-‚no flyzone‘ won’t be declared to avoid military conflict with Russia
Russia unlikely to be expelled from UN Security Council
– no plans from Biden for interaction with Putin pic.twitter.com/8biFaoEKp5
— Doctor Punchy (@_Knock_U_out_) March 4, 2022
Neither of Biden’s surrogates addressed the export controls the administration stated they will impose through the Commerce Department, as laid out in the fact sheet, that will impact “Russia’s refining capacity over the long term.”
Those long-term ramifications could explain why oil corporations like ExxonMobil, BP, and Shell have begun to sever ties with the Russian oil industry.
ExxonMobil began exiting the Sakhalin-I drilling project in which they hold a 30 percent stake, stating in part, “We are fully complying with all sanctions.”
Then Shell declared it would sever ties with Russia-owned Gazprom which included stakes in natural gas and petroleum. BP began this trend when they announced Sunday that they would be selling their 19.75 percent stake in Russia-owned oil company Rosneft after facing pressure from British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
These sanctions have resulted in the Russian ruble’s rapid devaluation, but have also impacted Americans at the gas pump as prices continue to spike. Biden’s only response to this serious economic concern has been to announce the one-time release of 60 million barrels of crude oil from global strategic oil reserves.
The 30 million barrels released by the United States amounts to less than two days worth of supply for the nation’s consumption demands. Furthermore, the last time Biden took such an action, in November 2021, the impact was a spike in oil prices.
As the administration continues to profess their understanding of the pain at the pump, it remains that their actions have been to set up opportunities to shift the blame to corporations and continue a push toward green energy initiatives that our infrastructure cannot currently support.
Jen Psaki says Biden wants to reduce our dependence on foreign oil by using green energy, not by expanding U.S. energy production pic.twitter.com/NqCKmzkCBN
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) February 27, 2022
Even Tesla CEO Elon Musk understands this basic reality. On Friday he tweeted in part, “Hate to say it, but we need to increase oil & gas output immediately.”
Obviously, this would negatively affect Tesla, but sustainable energy solutions simply cannot react instantaneously to make up for Russian oil & gas exports.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 5, 2022
“Obviously,” Musk went on, “this would negatively affect Tesla, but sustainable energy solutions simply cannot react instantaneously to make up for Russian oil & gas exports.”
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