Sen. Marshall introduces bill banning US imports of Russian oil

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FIRST ON FOX: Kansas Republican Sen. Roger Marshall introduced legislation Tuesday that calls on the White House to ban all Russian oil imports into the U.S.

The bill – which would specifically block the importation of petroleum and petroleum products from Russia – has been backed by Energy Committee GOP Leader Sen. John Barrasso along with at least seven other Republicans in the upper chamber. 

“First and foremost, President Biden needs to restart America’s energy production and quit funding Vladimir Putin’s war on Ukraine by continuing to purchase crude oil from Russia,” Marshall told Fox News Digital. 

Sen. Roger Marshall, R-Kan., holds stacks of money as he speaks during a press conference on inflation, at the Russell Senate Office Building on Feb. 16, 2022 in Washington, D.C. 
(Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

Marshall’s bill comes one day after Canada blocked imports of crude oil in protest to Russia’s deadly invasion of Ukraine. 

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Monday that despite the fact that Canada only imports a small amount of Russian petroleum products the blockade “sends a powerful message.”

The move is the first by a Western nation to impose a flat blockade on Russia’s top moneymaker as the U.S., Canada, European nations, Australia and Japan have sought to target Russian banks, businesses and elites.

Canada hasn’t imported crude oil from Russia since 2019 – which makes its ability to bar its petroleum exports without drastic financial implications for its citizens more attainable

While roughly three percent of U.S. oil imports come from Russia, Europe receives a whopping 40 percent of its oil needs from Moscow, reported the Wall Street Journal. 

The U.S. hit Russia with its promised sanctions on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last week. But the Biden administration has yet to more broadly target Russia’s energy sector. 

Pipes for the Nord Stream 2 Baltic Sea gas pipeline are stored on the premises of the port of Mukran near Sassnitz, Germany, on Dec. 4, 2020. 
(Stefan Sauer/dpa via AP, File)

Despite the hesitancy to directly hit Russian oil, gas prices have already spiked with the price per barrel reaching a new high Tuesday with barrel prices averaging $105.52 each.

Consumers in the U.S. are seeing the impact of the surging prices and the national average at the pump is now costing Americans $3.608 a gallon.

The bill has yet to receive bipartisan support, but the GOP lawmakers vowed to work with the administration if the White House pursued stricter measures against Russian oil. 

Customers fill up their vehicles with fuel at the Cupboard Food Store, foreground, and the Duck-Thru across in Scotland Neck, N.C., on Tuesday, May 11, 2021. 

“Make no mistake, if President Biden finds the courage to do this, we would without question work with him every step of the way,” Marshall said.

It is unclear if the Biden administration will target Russian oil imports, but White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told Fox News Tuesday that President Biden has not taken Russian energy sanctions “off the table.”

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