I try to avoid Republican nonsense, partly by avoiding TV, but some of it gets through. In what’s below, our congressman, Tom Malinowski, one of the smartest and most productive Democrats in the House of Representatives, demolishes some Republican talking points regarding Russia and oil:
Of course we should stop buying Russian oil.
But please stop pretending this is a silver bullet, or that we could somehow “replace” all the Russian oil by drilling in America.
Please follow along for a few facts . . .
Last year, the US bought $17 billion worth of oil from Russia. That’s not a huge number, and many US refiners are already ending their purchases anyway.
In comparison, Biden’s sanctions cost Russian energy companies over $190 billion just this week.
If we really wanted to deny Putin oil revenue, we’d try to stop all his oil and gas exports, not just the puny ones to the U.S.
But Russia is the world’s #2 oil exporter — second only to Saudi Arabia. Taking all that oil off the market overnight would explode gas prices.
Republicans have been arguing that we could make up for losing Russian energy by stopping “Biden’s war on oil” at home.
In fact, there are 248 more active oil and gas rigs in the US today than when Biden took office, a 62% increase.
Meanwhile, Biden is approving oil and gas drilling permits on public lands at a faster rate than T____, and has been criticized for it by environmental groups.
If on top of all that, you also want to drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, know that it wouldn’t produce oil till 2031. The Keystone Pipeline also would take years to come online.
These projects would have no impact on gas prices today.
If you want to shield American gas consumers from the impact of Russia’s war, your problem is not Biden; it’s Saudi Crown Prince MBS. This supposed US ally could produce more oil today but refuses, to protect a production agreement he made with Putin!
Back to politics: many Republicans privately admit we can’t “replace” all the Russian oil, but they want Biden to ban it all anyway, and then criticize him for the inevitable increase in gas prices.
We can’t afford that kind of cynical partisanship right now.
Democrats and Republicans need to lock arms and say: “As we sanction Russian oil, we must increase oil & gas production in the short run (including by pressuring the Saudis). But there will still be sacrifice at home, and we agree freedom and security are worth the price.”
And let’s agree that so long as we are dependent on oil, every country that influences its price can blackmail us.
Let’s become the world’s clean energy superpower, and tell Putin, MBS, and the leader of every other “gas station masquerading as a country” to go to hell.
This being a crazy timeline, Rep. Malinowski is expected to have a tough election in November, given that his opponent has nothing going for him except his ability to avoid answering questions about the previous president/unindicted co-conspirator D____ T____ and his having the same name as his dad, a moderate Republican who was a popular New Jersey governor.