West Virginia Democratic Senator Joe Manchin slammed the fact that the U.S. must rely on between 12 and 26 million barrels of Russian crude oil per month, calling on President Joe Biden to increase domestic energy production.
The amount of crude imported from Russia works out to roughly half a million barrels per day.
He described the administration’s environmental policies, which have resulted in a major decrease in domestic energy production, as “hypocritical.”
“I am calling on the Administration and industry partners to take action immediately, up to and including banning crude oil imports from Russia,” Machine said in a Monday statement.
Manchin, the chair of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, urged the White House to “take the necessary measures to ensure American energy independence and security.”
“The entire world is watching as Vladimir Putin uses energy as a weapon in an attempt to extort and coerce our European allies. 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,” he said.
“This makes no sense at all and represents a clear and present danger to our nation’s energy security. 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.”
Manchin stressed that “if there was ever a time to be energy independent, it is now.”
He called on the Biden administration and the energy industry to “take action immediately,” including banning imports of crude oil from Russia.
“To continue to ask other countries to do what we can do for ourselves in a cleaner way is hypocritical. To continue to rely on Russian energy as they attack Ukraine is senseless,” he said.
“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,” he added.
Manchin’s criticism of the Biden administration’s energy policies came at the same time as oil prices continued to climb, with US oil prices surging 11 percent to $106.50 a barrel, a seven-year high, according to CNBC. Oil has not reached similar levels per barrel since June 2014.
In response, the International Energy Agency said on Tuesday that it would release 60 million barrels of oil from global reserves, hoping to contain surging prices.