GOP Lawmakers Force Biden's Hand on Oil: Introduce 'Independence from Russian Energy Act'


Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine last week has served to highlight how dependent much of the world is on Russian oil.

Imports filling Moscow’s coffers have reached record levels even here in U.S. under President Joe Biden, topping over 600,000 barrels per day.

On Monday, GOP Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington and Bruce Westerman of Arkansas introduced the American Energy Independence from Russia Act.

The legislation would require Biden take action within 30 days “to unleash America’s oil and natural gas production to offset Russian imports,” the two said in a joint statement.

“We shouldn’t be buying a single barrel of oil from Russia,” Rodgers said from the House floor Tuesday. “This bill flips the switch on American energy.”

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Westerman added, “Our bill is simple, and it stands up to Russian aggression by going after their major source of funding.

“It will empower U.S. domestic production by one, immediately approving the Keystone XL pipeline, [and] by restarting the oil and gas leasing program on federal lands and waters,” among other measures, the congressman said.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy asked, “as an economic and energy super power, why are we relying on dictators when we should be supplying the world?”

Under former President Donald Trump, the U.S. became the top oil producer in the world in 2018 for the first time since 1973.

It still holds that position followed by Saudi Arabia, Russia and Canada, according to the Energy Information Administration.

However, in the early days of his presidency, Biden put American dominance in peril.

Under the auspices of addressing climate change, Biden suspended oil and gas leasing on federal lands and reinstated an Obama-era carbon dioxide emission federal fee to oil drilling operations, which had been lowered significantly under former President Donald Trump.

Additionally, the Biden administration shut down oil exploration in the Arctic Wildlife Preserve and canceled the Keystone XL pipeline from Canada.

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Last week, Biden’s team announced it would be delaying decisions on new oil and gas leases and permits on federal lands after a judge ruled officials had no constitutional authority to impose higher climate fees on drilling without congressional approval, CNBC reported.

Biden’s executive actions, taken together, continue to signal to the world oil market that the U.S. will be providing less over time, putting upward pressure on gas prices.

The price per gallon was in fact nearly $1 per gallon cheaper when Biden took office than it is now.

CNBC reported Tuesday that oil surged 11 percent to over $100 per barrel, which is a seven year high.

Biden made his moves to stifle oil production, even as the U.S. is pumping one million barrels less per day than at its pre-pandemic peak under Trump.

Should the U.S. return to producing the same level of oil as under Trump?

In November 2019, the U.S. produced nearly 13 million barrels per day, while in November 2021, the amount was 11.7 million, according to EIA.

In other words, if we get back to producing closer to 13 million, the U.S. will have no need of Russian oil.

The House and Senate should pass the American Energy Independence from Russia Act immediately, and Biden should sign it into law.

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Randy DeSoto has written more than 3,000 articles for The Western Journal since he joined the company in 2015. He is a graduate of West Point and Regent University School of Law. He is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths" and screenwriter of the political documentary "I Want Your Money."
Randy DeSoto is the senior staff writer for The Western Journal. He wrote and was the assistant producer of the documentary film "I Want Your Money" about the perils of Big Government, comparing the presidencies of Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama. Randy is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths," which addresses how leaders have appealed to beliefs found in the Declaration of Independence at defining moments in our nation's history. He has been published in several political sites and newspapers.

Randy graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point with a BS in political science and Regent University School of Law with a juris doctorate.
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Graduated dean's list from West Point
United States Military Academy at West Point, Regent University School of Law
Books Written
We Hold These Truths
Professional Memberships
Virginia and Pennsylvania state bars
Phoenix, Arizona
Languages Spoken
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Entertainment, Faith