The Biden administration will announce a ban on Russian oil imports Tuesday in response to further Russian aggression in Ukraine. An official announcement is scheduled for later this morning.
President Biden has been hesitant to ban Russian energy imports as the U.S. economy was already facing record inflation before the invasion of Ukraine. But, mounting political pressure and terrible poll numbers have pushed the administration to act. The ban is expected to be on Russian oil, natural gas, and coal.
The White House added a very brief press availability to the president’s schedule at the last minute Tuesday during which it is expected that he will announce the additional sanctions against Russia for its continued aggression in Ukraine.
The president had hoped to avoid cutting off Russian petroleum and gas as his own failing policies in the United States had left few options to avoid huge spikes in energy prices and, soon after, increases in the prices of everything else.
The Biden administration had spent the last several days appealing to Iran, Saudia Arabia, and Venezuela to provide more oil ahead of a ban, moving money from one country the U.S. is at odds with, to several others where serious international issues exist.
Iran and Venezuela will likely commit to oil deliveries if the U.S. lifts sanctions placed on the Maduro regime and the Mullahs. Saudia Arabia may be unable to do much as OPEC says it is unable to increase production at this time.
Biden’s sudden change-of-mind came after a bipartisan group in the House of Representatives worked over the weekend to craft an all-out ban of Russian energy. Biden staffers worked to stall the initiative, but when it became clear that the bill would pass the chamber, the White House decided to get ahead of them.
Russia says any ban on its energy exports could push oil to $300 per barrel. Market watchers expect closer to a $180 mark which would still push gas above $6 per gallon.
Biden’s unwillingness to unleash American energy production during a time of crisis is uniting voters against him as recent polls show. As energy costs affect everything from clothing to food, that negative sentiment will likely grow.
The president is scheduled to make an announcement on “further actions against Russia” at 10:45 AM just before he sets off for Fort Worth, Texas, to make a speech.
This is a developing story and will be updated.
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