- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 1, 2022

A Republican senator has introduced a bill that would ban Russian oil imports to the U.S.

Sen. Roger Marshall introduced the bill, which also would ban the import of the Kremlin’s petroleum products, with the support of at least eight other Republicans, including Sen. John Barrasso of Wyoming, the ranking Energy Committee member.

“First and foremost, President Biden needs to restart America’s energy production and quit funding Vladimir Putin’s war on Ukraine by continuing to purchase crude oil from Russia,” Mr. Marshall told Fox News Digital about his bill.

The bill was introduced Tuesday afternoon, a few hours before President Biden, who has refused to target Russia’s energy sector with sanctions, was set to give his State of the Union address to Congress.

At least one NATO nation has banned oil imports from Russia, Canada having announced that step Monday.

However, Canada imported no oil from Russia last year or the year before. The U.S. gets about 3% of its oil imports from Russia, so a ban wouldn’t have a huge direct impact on American consumers.

However, Europe is not in such a position, as it gets 40% of its oil imports from the Kremlin.

The perceived need for NATO unity has made the U.S. reluctant to move directly against Russia’s oil-and-gas industry. But Mr. Marshall said Senate Republicans want to work with the Democrats in Congress and the White House to get the bill passed.

“Make no mistake, if President Biden finds the courage to do this, we would without question work with him every step of the way,” Mr. Marshall said.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki has parried questions about targeting Russian oil and gas industry — the Kremlin’s principal export — for sanctions, but has said doing so is not ”off the table.”

• Victor Morton can be reached at vmorton@washingtontimes.com.

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