(CNSNews.com) -- When asked if the United States should prohibit petroleum imports from Russia and if not why not, Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) said, “There must be some reason why we haven’t and I don’t know what that reason could be because it’s obvious we should.”
At the Capitol on Wednesday, CNSNews.com asked Sen. Tester, “Should the United States prohibit petroleum imports from Russia and if not why not?”
The senator said, “Well, I think they should. Like I said, like I just told the last reporter, I don’t know why we aren’t. There must be some reason why we haven’t and I don’t know what that reason could be because it’s obvious we should.”
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 it was 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.
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 on his first day in office, 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 removal 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.