President Biden Bans Russian Oil & Gas


Jordan Sekulow

March 8

5 min read

Foreign Policy



Today the United States unilaterally banned imports of Russian oil and gas. While it is imperative that the U.S. ceases all funding for Russia as it commits war crimes in Ukraine, there has been no relief for Americans here at home at the gas pump.

President Biden announced this decision:

Today I’m announcing the United States is targeting the main artery of Russia’s economy. 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 Putin’s war machine.

President Biden also admitted he could not get other countries to buy into this concept:

We’re moving forward on this ban, understanding that many of our European allies and partners may not be in a position to join us. The United States produces far more oil domestically than all of the European – all the European countries combined. In fact, we’re a net exporter of energy. So, we can take this step when others cannot. But we are working closely with Europe and our partners to develop a long-term strategy to reduce their dependence on Russian energy as well.

Today on Sekulow, ACLJ Senior Counsel Andy Ekonomou countered the President’s logic with this statement:

It’s not that good at all trying to determine long-term strategic policies when you are actually in a shooting war in Ukraine and Russia. But I think the thing that concerns me very much is that . . . he glided . . . over this statement, “Many of our European allies and partners may not be able to be in a position to join us” . . . . That sends a tremendous message out to Putin and to those who are our enemies and that is that the Europeans and our allies and partners – NATO – are not 100 percent behind us. There is this fragility . . . maybe it is even a fracture in the Western Alliance. That is what Putin was counting on happening and indeed did happen. The President announces today – long overdue may I say – that we are banning the import of Russian oil, but then he’s got to clarify that and say but not all our European allies and partners are behind us. He’s saying that not only with respect to oil but with respect to so much else.

President Biden also tried to shift the blame for the price spike here at home on Putin, ignoring the fact that gas prices were already skyrocketing long before the war in Europe began:

The decision today is not without cost here at home. Putin’s war is already hurting American families at the gas pump. Since Putin began his military buildup on Ukrainian borders, just since then, the price of the gas at the pump in America went up 75 cents. And with this action, it is going to go up further. I am going to do everything I can to minimize the Putin price spike here at home.

ACLJ Director of Policy Harry Hutchison explained how President Biden carries much of the responsibility for skyrocketing energy prices:

The actual outcome is a demonstration once again of President Biden’s commitment to weakness. So, for instance, he blames price increases on “Putin,” 75 cents per gallon of gas. Except prices in the United States have already gone up $1.14 cents before the invasion. So, if you look at the oil and gas industry in the United States, it requires something that President Biden has failed to provide and that is long-term certainty. So, remember last year we were talking about what? The Green New Deal. We were talking about new regulations. We were talking about President Biden’s failure to allow the Keystone Pipeline to be built. At the end of the day, that is costing us. If you look precisely at the “sanctions” that President Biden has announced, they are not real sanctions. Why? Because our European partners are not joining us.

President Biden continued to dodge accountability for America’s lack of domestic energy production:

It is simply not true that my Administration or policies are holding back domestic energy production. That’s simply not true.

Harry pointed out that President Biden’s policies are indeed holding back domestic energy production:

It is simply true. As I suggested earlier, energy prices were rising well above. Number two, if President Biden announced sanctions on Russia with full buy-in from our European partners and he coupled that with a commitment to U.S. energy independence, that would mean something that would lower long-run oil prices. So, for instance, if it will take up to 6 months to ramp up shale oil in the United States, why weren’t we planning to do that in March of 2021 when Russia had troops massing on the Ukrainian border?

And to make matters worse, Iran is now entering into this equation and the Biden Administration is encouraging it. According to a Russian official, Iran is expected to get many more privileges when rejoining the flawed Iran nuclear deal. So, we are going to sanction Russia while simultaneously lifting sanctions from the world’s largest sponsor of terrorism – Iran. It makes no sense.

We will continue to monitor the developments of the U.S. returning to the Iran nuclear deal and provide you with updates as they come.

Today’s full Sekulow broadcast is complete with even more analysis of President Biden’s ban on Russian oil and gas imports.

Watch the full broadcast below.

Support the work of the ACLJ, as we continue to bring you expert analysis on the issues that matter most.