Sen. Braun: ‘Yes,’ Prohibit Petroleum Imports From Russia

Emily Robertson | March 4, 2022 | 5:49pm EST
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Sen. Mike Braun (R-Ind.)  (Getty Images)
Sen. Mike Braun (R-Ind.) (Getty Images)

( -- When asked if the United States should prohibit petroleum imports from Russia and if not why not, Sen. Mike Braun (R-Ind. ) said, “So, yes, and that means we’d have to endure a little pain.”

At the Capitol on March 2, asked Sen. Braun, “Should the United States prohibit petroleum imports from Russia and if not why not?”

The senator said, “I think they should because it’s a cross-purpose when we say we want to cut off their source of revenue in that country and we’re one of the culprits buying, I think close to 700,000 barrels a day, it’s a huge amount.”

“If we have the Keystone XL pipeline in place, had that not been thwarted, we would actually be producing more than that,” said Braun. “So, yes, I think until their supply of revenue, and that I think is 20-25% of their economy, the biggest part is cut off, they’re going to have the finances to continue what they’re doing in Ukraine.”

“So, yes, and that means we’d have to endure a little pain, prices would go up, but it would take care of one of the key things,” he said.  “It’s going to make Putin kind of linger with this as long as he's got the money to support him.”

Russia is one of the top crude oil and petroleum exporters globally. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), in 2020 Russia was the second largest net exporter sending on average 540,000 barrels daily to the United States and, in 2021, on average 670,000 barrels were exported to the United States. The highest month in 2020 was October with 660,000 barrels and, in 2021, May with 847,000 barrels.

Canada had the highest export rate to the United States in 2020 with 3,193,000 barrels of petroleum, while Iraq was in fifth place with 176,000 barrels, and Guyana was in tenth place with 27,000 barrels according to the EIA.

(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

The United States trade deficit with Russia in 2021, reported by the Census Bureau, was the second largest at $23,306,800,000 compared to 2011, which was $26,300,600,000. The number one import from Russia to the United States in 2021 was fuel oil at $10,265, 587,048, and the second was crude oil at $4,714, 801, 618.

With President Joe Biden’s cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline, the United States is no longer energy independent. Rather, it relies upon other countries for energy resources such as gas and oil.

The effect of the pipeline cancellation has led to higher gas prices and, since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, according to The Hill, there is concern for how the U.S. economy will be impacted with a higher increase in gas prices as well as other energy sources, food prices, travel costs, and the stock market.

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