By: John Semmens
Since Russia’s war on Ukraine is largely funded by profits from selling its oil and gas, MSNBC journalist Stephanie Ruhle wondered “why the sanctions President Biden imposed do not include the 700,000 barrels of petroleum products per day the US buys from Russia? Aren’t these purchases aiding and abetting Russia’s aggression?”
US Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg admitted that “to the unsophisticated observer it looks that way, but since the President has committed this country to weaning itself off of fossil fuels he had to cancel the Keystone Pipeline and shut down oil drilling on public lands. The 800,000 barrels a day that Keystone could have provided would have enabled us to completely boycott Russian oil. The short-term impact of such a boycott could have seriously undermined Russia’s war effort, but it would also undermine our conversion to green energy.”
“Yes, I see that,” Ruhle said, “but doesn’t replacing US produced energy with Russian-produced energy also undermine the green energy agenda?”
“You make a good point,” the Secretary acknowledged. “However, in the months running up to the November elections the price spike for gasoline that would result from a boycott would severely hamper the chances for Democrats to retain our majorities in Congress. Helping to fund Russia’s war by buying their petroleum is the lesser evil. The thousands of lives lost in Ukraine would be bad. The dozens of seats lost in Congress would be an intolerable disaster for our country. After the elections will be the time for Democrats to push the price of gasoline beyond the reach of selfish individuals who put their own freedom of mobility ahead of their collective duty to sacrifice for a greener tomorrow.”
In related news, by a vote of 221-202, Democrats in the House rebuffed a GOP effort aimed at reclaiming the energy independence achieved during the Trump Administration by restarting the Keystone Pipeline and allowing oil drilling on public land. Speaker Nancy Pelosi called the GOP measure an unnecessary attempt to embarrass the President. He has already ordered the release of 60 million barrels of oil from our strategic reserves.” Sixty million barrels is enough to meet three days worth of US demand.