Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, wants the U.S. to ban imports of Russian oil even if it means higher domestic energy prices, Politico is reporting.
Murkowski called for U.S. action as a result of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
"We are going to see price increases," Murkowski said. "Nobody wants to see that. And this is going to hurt. But we all need to recognize Europe is in the midst of a war with Russia now. Innocent people are dying, children are dying. We have not been in as volatile as a situation as anytime in my life. And so we are looking right now from a very short window."
Politico noted President Joe Biden has resisted calls to block Russian gas shipments out of concern for energy price increases in the U.S.
"He [Russian President Vladimir Putin] has used energy as a weapon, and we are afraid to have it on the table?" she said. "I'm sorry, he put it on the table. This is not going to be easy on Europe or the United States. Hopefully, it will be most difficult on Russia."
Murkowski, saying it would not be easy for the U.S. to make up the gap if Russia oil ended up being cut off, blamed Biden's policies for making it difficult to develop new wells in the U.S., Politico said.
"How easy is it to replace it?" she said. "We have to remember it's not like this country just has a dial you can ramp up from a three to a seven when you have put in place policies that inhibit investment within the industry that limit your ability to ramp up quickly. It's hard to dial it back up."
Murkowski and Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., are floating a bill prohibiting the import of Russian crude oil, petroleum, petroleum products, and liquified natural gas by declaring a national emergency, according to Reuters.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said that while Washington was still considering hitting Moscow's vast energy sector over Russia's invasion of neighboring Ukraine, the impact on global oil markets and U.S. energy prices were a key factor.
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