Politics

Manchin Calls On Biden To Ramp Up Domestic Production, Cut Ties With Russian Oil

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Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W. Va.) called on President Joe Biden to relax rules against U. S. oil production which have left the nation heavily dependent on Middle Eastern and Russian oil. Even after the invasion of Ukraine, which the president has condemned, the United States has continued to buy around 500,000 barrels of Russian oil per day.

“The entire world is watching as [Russian President] Vladimir Putin uses energy as a weapon in an attempt to extort and coerce our European allies,” Manchin said in a statement.  “While Americans decry what is happening in Ukraine, the United States continues to allow the import of more than half a million barrels per day of crude oil and other petroleum products from Russia during this time of war. This makes no sense at all and represents a clear and present danger to our nation’s energy security.”

Manchin continued, “The United States can and must ramp up domestic energy production and increase access to our abundant resources and technologies to both protect our energy independence and support our allies around the globe.”

“If there was ever a time to be energy independent, it is now,” Manchin added, accusing Biden of being “hypocritical” for continuing to allow the importation of Russian oil. “To continue to rely on Russian energy as they attack Ukraine is senseless.”

Manchin concluded, “In the coming days and weeks, the strategic value of American energy and what can be done to better position our nation on the global stage will be an ongoing topic in the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.”

Upon taking office Biden, citing the so-called “climate crisis,” signed a series of executive orders ending or reversing Trump-era policies.

Most prominently, Biden placed a moratorium on leasing federal lands to oil and natural gas producers. He also paused construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, which has been a controversial issue since President Barack Obama’s time in the Oval Office.

These policies, however, have made the United States again dependent on the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and Russian oil. Even as the United States has roundly condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, oil from the nation has continued to pour into the United States.

Republicans, both before and after the invasion of Ukraine, have persistently called on Biden to reverse these “anti-American energy policies” and to restore President Donald Trump’s energy policies, which increased U. S. oil production dramatically and rendered it energy-independent for the first time in decades.

Though many Democrats have fallen into line with the White House on energy and climate policy Manchin, who has often broken with his party during the 117th Congress, has for some time expressed skepticism toward his party over the issue.

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In November, Manchin called for Biden to restart construction on the Keystone XL pipeline after the White House announced that it would pu… (Read more)

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