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U.S. weighs cutting Russian oil imports amid broad public support

The Russian supertanker Astro Lupus waits in the Gulf of Mexico to unload a cargo of Russian crude oil in Houston. (2002, Getty Illustrations or photos)


WASHINGTON — The Biden administration is weighing slicing U.S. imports of Russian oil and methods to lessen the influence on worldwide materials and people, the White Property said on Friday, as lawmakers speedy-keep track of a invoice that would ban Russian electricity imports completely.

“We are seeking at methods to minimize the import of Russian oil even though also generating sure that we are keeping the global source desires out there,” White Dwelling spokeswoman Jen Psaki advised reporters at a briefing. The White Residence stays in get in touch with with U.S. lawmakers in excess of the issue, she claimed.

U.S. Senators Joe Manchin, a West Virginia Democrat, and Lisa Murkowski, an Alaska Republican, on Thursday proposed bipartisan legislation to ban Russian electrical power imports in response to the invasion of Ukraine, contacting it a counter to Russia “weaponizing” vitality.

The monthly bill is receiving speedy-tracked in the Senate, and the White House could rely on the legislation to ban imports, a shift that would support share the blame for any selling price spikes.

A broad bipartisan greater part of Individuals believe the United States should stop purchasing Russian oil, in accordance to a Reuters/Ipsos poll finished on Friday. Some 80% of Individuals — including reliable majorities of Republicans and Democrats — support the evaluate.

Nonetheless, the White Dwelling is proceeding cautiously, worried about a spike in gasoline costs that would increase to a long time-large inflation.

People are by considerably the world’s heaviest customers of gasoline, thanks to major automobiles, very long driving distances and minor public transportation in a lot of parts, and growing fuel rates have typically been political poison for U.S. leaders.

The United States imported much more than 20.4 million barrels of crude and refined items a month on regular in 2021 from Russia, about 8% of U.S. liquid fuel imports, in accordance to the Energy Information Administration (EIA).

White Home economic adviser Cecilia Rouse noted that when the United States does not import a lot Russian oil, it is even now examining a variety of probable techniques.

“What is genuinely most critical is that we manage (a) steady offer of international power,” she claimed at the briefing, introducing that the administration was “considering a vary of possibilities that we could choose proper now if we had been likely to reduce” usage of Russian electrical power.

Their reviews occur as oil prices have soared in excess of the previous week after the United States and its allies sanctioned Russia following its invasion of Ukraine.