Sen. Hagerty: ‘We Should Become Energy Independent Again’

Emily Robertson | March 4, 2022 | 5:00pm EST
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Sen. Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.)  (Getty Images)
Sen. Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.) (Getty Images)

( -- When asked if the United States should prohibit petroleum imports from Russia and if not why not, Sen. Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.) said, “yes,” and added, “We should reopen the Keystone XL pipeline, we should grant access to federal lands for drilling,” and “we should become energy independent again….”

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

The senator said, “The answer is yes, but we should do it concurrent with reopening production here in America. We should reopen the Keystone XL pipeline, we should grant access to federal lands for drilling, we should become energy independent again -- and that would make it very easy for us to do exactly as you suggest."

“It would send a strong message to the world, it would have a deflationary impact on the American economy, and we would be in a position, yet again to come to the aid of our allies,” said Hagerty. “We’re not there now, thanks to the shortsighted, myopic policies of this administration.”

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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