Biden Says Americans Will Have To Pay At The Pump
President Joe Biden indicated that Americans will likely pay at the pump as a result of the sanctions levied against Russia Tuesday.
“As we respond, my administration is using every tool at our disposal to protect American businesses and consumers from rising prices at the pump,” the president remarked at the White House on Tuesday. “As I said last week, defending freedom will have costs for us as well and here at home. We need to be honest about that.”
“But as we do this, I’m going to take robust action to make sure the pain of our sanctions is targeted at Russian economy, not ours,” Biden continued. “We are closely monitoring energy supplies for any disruption. We are executing a plan in coordination with major oil-producing consumers and producers toward a collective investment to secure stability in global energy supplies.”
Biden did not go into details about how he planned to work with oil producers to guard against rising prices at the pump but said he wanted to “limit the pain” of the American people.
During his remarks, Biden laid out the first round of sanctions to be implemented against Russia in response to the nation’s invasion of separatist-controlled territories, Donetsk and Luhansk in Ukraine on Monday. The Department of the Treasury later detailed the sanctions which target several major Russian financial institutions and powerful elites close to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Among the sanctions against the state-run Promsvyazbank Public Joint Stock Company, the Biden administration took action against multiple Russian tankers that transport crude oil, the Treasury Department said.
Gasoline reached an average of $3.49 per gallon nationwide last week, its highest level since 2014, Energy Information Administration data showed. The Biden administration has opened an investigation into fossil fuel companies over price gouging as gasoline prices continue to soar.
The price of oil, which is the primary determinant of gas prices, continued to climb to $100 per barrel both in the U.S. and in Europe on Tuesday.
Between January 2021 and November 2021, Russia exported the second-largest amount of oil to the U.S. Russia is a major player in the global oil market as well and is Europe’s largest supplier.
Biden has taken a strong anti-fossil fuel stance on energy policy since taking office, nixing the Keystone XL oil pipeline, ditching an oil drilling project in Alaska, staying silent on a court ruling that prohibited an offshore drilling lease in the Gulf of Mexico and making it more difficult for utilities to gain approval for natural gas projects.
The U.S. has approximately 38.2 billion barrels of crude oil reserves, according to the EIA.