Montana elected leaders react to Biden banning Russian oil
“We're banning all imports of Russian oil and gas and energy. That means Russian oil will no longer be accepted at U.S. ports and the American people will deal another powerful blow to the Putin war machine," said Biden.
The move comes as gas and other energy prices rapidly increase in the U.S. following the Russian invasion.
Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) and Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) praised the move Tuesday, while also calling on increasing domestic energy production.
“Great,” Sen. Steve Daines said in a press release. “Now instead of looking to Iran and Venezuela for oil — work with American producers and unleash American energy production!”
“I appreciate President Biden working with our bipartisan coalition to ban imports of Russian oil and gas. This will weaken Putin's regime,” wrote Sen. Jon Tester on Twitter. “Now we've got to increase domestic production and strengthen our energy independence so we can get working families some relief at the pump.”
In recent days both Daines and Tester have pushed for increasing U.S. energy independence, including restarting the Keystone XL pipeline.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, Russian oil accounted for 7.4% of total U.S. imports between July 2021-December 2021.
Montana Governor Greg Gianforte tweeted Tuesday the state is ready to make America energy secure and independent.
“Our adversaries are the only beneficiaries when we aren't expanding production and supply here at home,” wrote Gianforte.
Biden said the move was made in consultation with NATO and European allies to show a united front against the actions of Russian President Vladamir Putin.
“We’re moving forward with this ban understanding that many of our European allies and partners may not be in a position to join us,” Biden said in his address. “The United States produces far more oil domestically than all of the European countries combined. In fact, we are a net exporter of energy. We can take this step when others cannot.”
According to data from the U.S. Department of Energy, in 2021 the country produced 11.2 million barrels of oil a day. In 2019 the U.S. produced 12.2 million barrels a day. That decrease comes after a significant increase over the last 14 years. In 2008, the U.S. was producing 5 million barrels a day, by 2018 the country was producing 10.9 million barrels a day.