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Manchin Leads Bipartisan Bill To Ban Imports Of Russian Oil

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Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W. Va.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), and Jon Tester (D-Mont.) on March 3 unveiled a proposal that would ban the U.S. importation of Russian oil; a House version was introduced by Reps. Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.).

Manchin first called for an end to imports of Russian oil on March 1.

Despite the U. S. condemnation of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Manchin noted that the United States still imports roughly 500,000 barrels of Russian oil per day. Manchin called that policy “hypocritical,” and demanded that President Joe Biden move to increase U.S. oil production and to ban Russian oil imports.

Upon taking office, Biden, citing an alleged “climate crisis,” overturned several Trump-era policies that had boosted the United States to energy independence for the first time in decades.

Most notably, Biden ended construction on the Keystone XL pipeline—which has been staunchly opposed by environmental groups since the administration of President Barack Obama—and placed a moratorium on the leasing of federal lands to oil and natural gas producers.

As early as November 2021, Manchin, who has long been skeptical of his party’s environmental alarmists, called on Biden to restart construction on the Keystone pipeline.

On March 3, Manchin, flanked by members from both chambers of Congress and both parties, renewed calls to increase U. S. oil production and to decrease its dependence on Russian oil. These two policies, he said, would help the United States to support its allies and further cripple the Russian economy.

“The United States has the ability to backfill and help all of our allies around the world as [Russia] uses energy as a weapon,” Manchin said.

“We [produce energy] cleaner than anybody else; we do it in a better fashion than anyone else.

“We have the ability with [U. S. oil] reserves to do much more during this crisis.”

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