In a Tuesday address, President Joe Biden announced that the US will be banning imports of Russian oil, and that the US would be sharing the responsibility of caring for refugees displaced in the conflict, so "the costs do not fall entirely on the European countries bordering Ukraine."
"Today I'm announcing the United States is targeting the main artery of Russia's economy. We’re banning all imports of Russian oil and gas and energies," Biden announced.
"That means Russian oil will no longer be acceptable at US ports, and American people will deal another powerful blow to Putin’s war machine," he added.
Biden noted that the action has had "strong" bipartisan support, as well as support amongst Americans.
"Americans have rallied to support the Ukrainian people and made it clear we will not be part of subsidizing Putin’s war," said Biden, who added that the decision was made in "close consultation with allies around the world.
He said the US produces "far more oil domestically than all of Europe combined," and would take this step "when others cannot," adding that his administration is working closely with Europe to reduce their dependence on Russian energy.
"This is a step that we're taking to inflict further pain on Putin," said Biden. "But there will be cost as well here in the United States. I said I would level with the American people from the beginning, and when I first spoke to this I said defending freedom is going to cost, it's going to cost us as well, in the United States."
Biden continued on to note that the US has provided more than 41 billion in security assistance to Ukraine, and that shipments of defensive weapons are arriving in the country every day from the US.
In addition to support in terms of weapons, Biden said that the US is providing humanitarian assistance to the people of Ukraine, and are working with humanitarian organizations to "surge tens of thousands of tons of food, water, and medical supplies into Ukraine," with Biden Administration officials traveling to Eastern Europe to see the situation firsthand and assure NATO allies of US support.
"I've made it clear, the United States will share the responsibility of caring for the refugees, so the costs do not fall entirely on the European countries bordering Ukraine," said Biden.
Biden continued on to summarize the financial stress that the administration and companies have placed on Russia, which has resulted in the ruble falling to a value lower than the US penny.
"We cut Russia's largest banks from the international financial system and has crippled their ability to do business with the rest of the world. In addition, we're choking off Russia's access to technology like semiconductors that are — and sap its economic strength and weakened its military for years to come," said Biden.
Biden also warned about a jump in gas prices, calling it "Putin's price hike."
"The decision today is not without cost here at home. Putin’s war is already hurting American families at the gas pump. Since Putin began his military buildup on Ukrainian borders, just since then, the price of the gas at the pump in America and 75 cents. And with this action, it's going to go up further. I'm going to do everything I can to minimize Putin's price hike here at home," Biden stressed.
Biden also claimed that his administration and policies are not "holding back domestic energy production."
"That's simply not true," said Biden. "Even amid the pandemic companies in the United States pumped more oil during my first year in office than they did during my predecessor’s first year. We're approaching record levels of oil and gas production United States, and we're on track to set a record for oil production next year."
"In the United States, 90 percent of onshore oil production takes place on land that isn't owned by the federal government. And of the remaining 10 percent that occurs on federal land, the oil and gas industry has millions of acres leased. They have 9000 permits to drill now, they could be drilling right now, yesterday, last week, last year. They have 900 to drill onshore that are already approved," said Biden.
"So let me be clear, let me be clear, they are not using them for production. Now, that's their decision. These are the facts. We should be honest about the facts," he added.
Biden used the point to stress the importance of the US becoming energy independent through the transition to clean energy.
""I’ve had numerous conversations over the last few months with our European friends of how they have to wean themselves off of Russian oil it's just not, it's just not tenable. It should motivate us to accelerate the transition of clean energy," said Biden.
Biden claimed that loosening environmental regulations or pulling back clean energy investments "will not lower energy prices for families."
""Transforming our economy to run on electric vehicles powered by clean energy, with tax credits to help American families winterize their homes and use less energy, that will, that will help. And if we can, if we do what we can, it will mean that no one has to worry about price of gas pumping the future," said Biden.
"That’ll mean tyrants like Putin won't be able to use fossil fuels as weapons against other nations, and it will make America a world leader manufacturing and exporting clean energy technologies of the future to countries all around the world," he added.
This is a breaking story and will be updated.
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