By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
President Joe Biden on Tuesday banned all oil imports from Russia due to the Ukraine invasion, bringing together two political foes in the process.
U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney and Harriet Hageman, her challenger for the GOP nomination for Wyoming’s lone U.S. House seat, both said Tuesday that Biden made the right decision by taking such a firm stand and banning Russian oil and coal imports.
“After banning the import of Russian energy, the United States should unleash domestic production so that we can be the world’s energy arsenal, instead of allowing our adversaries like Iran or Venezuela to step into this void,” Cheney said. “We should authorize new leases and permits for oil and gas drilling on federal land and cease the development of new regulations that limit energy production.
“In Wyoming and across the country, we have the resources and capabilities to increase production so we can return to American energy independence, provide crucial resources for our allies around the world, and mitigate the higher gas prices and energy costs that hardworking families are facing,” she continued. “This is an economic and national security imperative.”
America imports about 8% of its oil and other petroleum products from Russia.
Biden said Tuesday that with the Russian oil ban, gas prices will likely continue to increase.
According to The Associated Press, the European Union this week will commit to phasing out its reliance on Russia for energy needs as soon as possible. Europe relies on imports for 90% of its natural gas and 97% of its oil products. Russia supplies 40% of Europe’s natural gas and a quarter of its oil.
The U.S. does not import Russian natural gas.
While Hageman did say Biden made the right choice with the ban, she pointed out what she called several key flaws in his administration’s strategies in recent weeks and months.
“If [Biden] wanted to actually correct his failed energy policies, he would reverse all of his other edicts as well and restore America’s energy independence, achieved by President Trump for the first time in seven decades,” she said. “Biden purposely squandered our energy self-sufficiency, and now must grovel to Venezuela, Iran and OPEC for oil, in some cases appeasing one dictator to punish another.
“Biden has, in effect, turned our foreign policy decisions over to radical environmental extremists, because they are the ones forbidding him from increasing our own domestic energy production,” she continued
Hageman added that Biden’s policies were driving the increase of gas prices to “near-r0ecord levels” even before the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
While Hageman sided with Cheney on the import ban, she also criticized the incumbent for her lack of action against Biden, saying the representative should “be raising hell about Biden’s hamstringing of energy producers in our own state.”
“Liz Cheney is too wrapped up in her own personal war with President Trump and her efforts to help Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats distract attention away from Biden’s failed presidency,” Hageman said. “Cheney is viewed by Democrats as a useful, temporary political tool, and has burned almost all of her relationships with Republicans. She has rendered herself completely ineffective.”