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US Vulnerable to Putin Economic Retaliation Under Biden as Oil Imports Hit Record Levels

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One of President Joe Biden’s most nonsensical policies has been his push to curtail domestic oil production, even as oil imports surge.

In light of the threats made by Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday of “consequences you have never seen” for opposing his invasion of Ukraine, these energy policies should be reversed immediately.

Putin’s threats came ahead of Biden’s announcement the same day of new sanctions against the Kremlin.

One form the Russian leader’s retaliation could take is cutting off the supply of oil from his country coming into the U.S.

The amount of oil imported from Russia has increased significantly under Biden.

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According to the Energy Information Administration, our nation imported a record 26 million barrels from Russia in May 2021, up from just over 20 million in January of that year, former President Donald Trump’s last month in office.

During the previous administration, the amount of imported Russian oil mostly ranged between 11 million and 16 million barrels per month. It has been over 20 million for much of Biden’s presidency.

Russia currently supplies about 7 percent of America’s crude oil imports.

Under Trump, the U.S. became the top oil producer in the world for the first time since 1973. After the U.S. come Saudi Arabia, Russia and Canada, according to the EIA.

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However, we may not hold the top spot over the long term.

In the early days of Biden’s presidency, he signed executive orders under the auspices of addressing climate change that suspended oil and gas exploration leasing on federal lands and reinstated an Obama-era federal fee on oil drilling operations, which had been lowered significantly under Trump.

Additionally, the Biden administration shut down oil exploration in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and canceled the Keystone XL Pipeline from Canada.

On Thursday, 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 fees on drilling without congressional approval, CNBC reported.

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Biden’s executive actions, taken together, continue to signal to the world oil market that the U.S. will be providing less over time, causing gas prices to rise. The price per gallon was in fact nearly $1 per gallon cheaper when Biden took office than it is now.

Biden made these moves even as the U.S. is producing 1 million fewer barrels a day than at its peak 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 the U.S. gets back to producing closer to 13 million barrels a day, we will have no need for Russian oil.

To borrow a phrase from former President Ronald Reagan, it’s time to reawaken this oil-producing giant, and then we can tell Putin to pound sand.

A version of this article originally appeared on Patriot Project.

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