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Hickenlooper, 17 other senators introduce legislation to ban Russian oil imports

Russia Ukraine War Economy
Posted at 4:56 PM, Mar 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-03 18:58:26-05

WASHINGTON, D.C. — A bipartisan group of 18 senators, including U.S. Senator John Hickenlooper, introduced the Ban Russian Energy Imports Act Thursday to stop the importation of Russian crude oil, petroleum products, liquified natural gas (LNG) and coal amid the escalating war in Ukraine.

An average of 670,000 barrels of Russian oil and petroleum products were imported into the United States in 2021, according to Hickenlooper, who is a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. The U.S. saw a high of 848,000 imported barrels per day in June 2021, and imports were up 24% in 2021 compared to 2020.

According to Hickenlooper, the Ban Russian Energy Imports Act would declare a national emergency specifically with respect to the threat to national security, foreign policy, and economy and direct President Joe Biden to prohibit imports of crude oil, petroleum, petroleum products, LNG, and coal from Russia. Product that is already loaded or in transit at the time of enactment would not be affected.

Biden or Congress would be able to end the emergency declaration and lift the import ban.

“Putin is selling us Russian oil to pay for his brutality in Ukraine,” said Hickenlooper. “Let’s end Russian oil imports today and accelerate the deployment of renewable energy sources so we never use it again.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday she's "all for" banning Russian oil imports.

Companion legislation is set to be introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives.