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Biden’s Energy Policy Sends $74 Million Per Day to Russia, Enough to Buy 20 Tanks Every Day

March 3, 2022

President Biden could pressure Democrats to stand up to environmental extremists who have blocked the construction of pipelines that could deliver more American oil and natural gas to Russia-dependent American markets.

Key Points:

  • America sends Russia $74 Million per day for oil imports.

  • America imported 24 percent more oil from Russia in 2021 than in 2020.

  • 36 percent of Russia’s government budget comes from oil export revenue.

The Biden administration’s anti-American energy policy is responsible for America sending $74 million per day to Russia for oil imports, an analysis of U.S. Energy Information Administration data show, which is enough money for Russia to buy 20 T-14 tanks every day.

During the Trump administration, the United States became a net exporter of oil. For logistical reasons, America still imported oil from Russia, but America could – if necessary – turn off the Russian spigot and replace Russian oil with U.S. oil. Under the Biden administration’s war on domestic energy production, that has changed. America no longer produces enough oil to cover our needs and would have a much more difficult time replacing Russian oil imports.

During 2021, America imported 245 million barrels of oil from Russia, versus 197 million barrels in 2020. That amounts to a 24 percent increase during Biden’s first full year in office.

On a per-day basis at today’s oil price of $111 per barrel, America is sending Russia $74 million per day for oil imports. Even if one assumes that America would not be cutting off Russian oil imports had the United States remained a net oil exporter, the increase in average daily Russian oil imports between President Trump’s last year in office and the average daily imports under the Biden administration amounts to an extra $18 million per day we are sending to Russia, or five additional tanks per day.

The revenue from oil exports funds approximately 36 percent of the Russian government’s budget. If Biden is serious about punishing Vladimir Putin for invading a sovereign nation or preventing similar military aggression in the region, he should begin by hitting Russia where it is most vulnerable: oil and natural gas exports. Ramping up American oil and natural gas production would reduce or eliminate U.S. purchases of Russian energy. It would also allow other nations to buy energy from America rather than Russia.

Biden could pressure Democrats to stand up to environmental extremists who have blocked the construction of pipelines that could deliver more American oil and natural gas to Russia-dependent American markets. He could also expedite the approvals of new liquefied natural gas terminals and the pipelines delivering fuel to other nations rather than erecting new hurdles to natural gas exports as he has recently done. Biden could also reverse his decision to withdraw U.S. support for the EastMed natural gas pipeline from Israel to Europe.

Resuming our role as a net energy exporter would allow nations to stop purchasing Russian oil and gas and purchase American oil and gas instead. Without the energy-export money Russia needs to sustain its war machine, Russia will find it much harder to wage war on its neighbors. Ukrainian lives need to trump Biden’s self-defeating green energy fantasies.

Article Tags
Energy
Sub-topic
Energy: Oil
Author
James Taylor is president of The Heartland Institute.
jtaylor@heartland.org