Headline RoundupMarch 3rd, 2022

How Much Russian Oil Does the US Import, and How Can Dependence be Reduced?

Summary from the AllSides News Team

Russia's war on Ukraine has made gas prices in the U.S. even higher, and many are now questioning America's relationship with Russia when it comes to energy imports.

Three percent of the roughly 209,000 oil barrels the U.S. imported per day in 2021 came from Russia, ranking fourth behind Canada (61%), Mexico (10%) and Saudi Arabia (6%) as the U.S.'s biggest sources of oil imports. This has led to criticisms of the U.S. for paying for Russian oil, and prominent lawmakers in both major parties support banning Russian oil imports. Meanwhile, U.S. oil traders are reportedly slowing down imports of Russian oil. Experts on both sides have also accused the Jones Act of 1920 of making energy prices higher while incentivizing the U.S. to rely more on energy imports. The law requires water transportation of cargo among U.S. ports to be conducted solely by registered American ships with U.S. crews.

Many across the spectrum agreed that total U.S. energy independence is unachievable, but left and right split on how to avoid dependence on Russian oil. Many right-rated voices called for U.S. imports of Russian oil to end immediately, and for Biden to ease restrictions on drilling in the U.S. to offset the loss and boost energy independence. Left-rated voices typically focused on shifting attention to cleaner energy sources as a way to both stop depending on Russian oil and help the environment.

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