Nations are uniting to impose sanctions on Russia. Some large corporations have even ceased operations in the country. However, one business relationship that hasn’t been cut off is the purchase of oil.
However, the cost to consumers is a big question. Fortune reports that the U.S. only imports about 5% of its crude oil and petroleum from Russia, but that if countries that import larger amounts of oil from Russia follow suit, the resulting shortage could drive gas prices ever higher.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken discussed this on CNN Sunday, assuring viewers that such a ban is on the table, and that officials are discussing how to keep it from hitting consumers any harder than necessary.
Sec. of State Antony Blinken to Jake Tapper on whether the U.S. will ban Russian oil:
"We are now talking to our European partners and allies to look in a coordinated way at the prospect of banning the import of Russian oil … That’s a very active discussion as we speak.” pic.twitter.com/yJhZarOWg1
— The Recount (@therecount) March 6, 2022
“We are now talking to our European partners and allies to look in a coordinated way at the prospect of banning the import of Russian oil while making sure that there is still an appropriate supply of oil on world markets. That’s a very active discussion as we speak.”
At least to some extent, the notion of cutting out Russian oil has bipartisan agreement, though Republicans are heavily relying on the debate to push for more oil production in the United States. As seen in the tweet below, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) even tried to make a case that more U.S. drilling would be an eco-friendly decision.
If you're concerned about the environment, American natural gas is 42% cleaner than Russian natural gas.
— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) March 6, 2022
It’s not clear what the timeline might be for any bans on importing of Russian oil, but some refiners in Europe have already stopped working with Russian oil.
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Steph Bazzle reports on social issues and religion for Hill Reporter. She focuses on stories that speak to everyone's right to practice what they believe in and receive the support of their communities and government officials. You can reach her at Steph@HillReporter.com