Republicans, including Rep. Jim Banks of Indiana, left, responded to President Joe Biden’s ban on Russian gas by unveiling new legislation aimed at blocking the US from buying oil from terrorist-sponsored nations. (Nicholas Kamm – AFP / Getty Images; Win McNamee / Getty Images)
By Abby Liebing March 8, 2022 at 1:44pm
President Joe Biden just announced that the U.S. will be banning imports of Russian oil and gas.
Following on the heels of this announcement, Republicans unveiled new legislation aimed at blocking the U.S. from buying oil from Iran as well.
The Republican Study Committee introduced this “No Oil From Terrorists Act” with the argument that the Biden administration needs to focus on boosting domestic energy rather than buying oil supplies from hostile terrorist regimes, Fox News reported.
The GOP are trying to prevent the administration from turning to Iran to buy oil now that Russian oil imports are banned.
They also say that Biden should end the executive orders that canceled the Keystone XL pipeline from Canada, as well as the other executive orders that froze oil and gas leases on federal lands.
In the announcement that Russian oil would be banned, Biden said that he is aiming to really hurt Russia’s economy.
“The United States is targeting the main artery of Russia’s economy. That means Russian oil will no longer be acceptable at U.S. ports, and the American people will deal another powerful blow to Putin’s war machine,” Biden said, NPR reported.
But he also warned that this move will cost.
“Defending freedom is going to cost. It’s going to cost us as well in the United States,” Biden said.
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However, Biden has also promised to work on pushing gas prices down.
He has been promising this for a while, saying in February that he would “work like the devil” to address high prices, Forbes reported.
Biden announced when he banned Russian oil that he would do “everything I can to minimize Putin’s price hike here at home.”
But he also said that lifting environmental regulations wouldn’t boost domestic energy production.
Due to these comments, Republicans seemed to worry that Biden would then turn to Iran for oil.
“When Joe Biden crushed the American energy industry on day one of his presidency, he left Americans dependent on our foreign adversaries for oil,” Republican Rep. Jim Banks of Indiana told Fox News. “This sent gas prices through the roof and allowed Putin to fund his unprovoked war.”
“To add insult to injury, the Biden administration is now considering buying oil from Iran, the world’s largest state sponsor of terror. There is absolutely no reason to import terrorist’s oil when we can drill better, cheaper, and cleaner right here at home,” Banks added.
Currently, the U.S. is not buying oil from Iran.
But last week, when after MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle asked if President Biden would consider “working something out with Iran,” when it comes to the oil crisis, Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg did say that “all options are on the table,” Fox News reported.
Meanwhile, the talks that were re-opened with Iran months ago have continued in Vienna, even while the war between Russia and Ukraine continues.
“While the world’s attention is fixated on Russia’s war in Ukraine, President Biden’s Iran envoy in Vienna, Robert Malley, reportedly is readying to finalize a deal that makes a number of worrying concessions to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and his regime,” The Hill reported.
In the meantime, gas prices are hitting record highs not seen since the 2008 economic crisis.
According to AAA, the national gas price average was $4.17 Tuesday.