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March 03, 2022

Collins, King Join Colleagues in Introducing Bipartisan Bill to Ban Russian Energy Imports

Washington, DC – Today, U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Angus King (I-ME) joined a bipartisan group of 18 Senators in introducing the Ban Russian Energy Imports Act, which would prohibit the importation of Russian crude oil, petroleum, petroleum products, liquefied natural gas (LNG) and coal.

In 2021, the United States imported an average of 670,000 barrels of oil and petroleum products, with a high of 848,000 barrels per day in June 2021. Imports were up 24 percent in 2021 over 2020. The U.S. has also imported Russian LNG and coal despite having some of the largest reserves domestically. This import strategy puts American national security at risk and supports Vladimir Putin’s ability to stay in power. 

“Putin is leveraging Russia’s oil revenue to fund his war effort against the peaceful country of Ukraine and kill innocent civilians. Banning the importation of Russian energy products would cut off a portion of this key source of cash flow and help prevent Putin from circumventing the punishing sanctions that the U.S. and our allies have imposed to pressure Russia to bring an end to this terrible war,” said Senator Collins. “The crisis in Ukraine has also underscored the need for the U.S. and Europe to increase our energy independence in order to strengthen our national security and deter ruthless autocrats who are on the march around the globe.”

“The United States should not be relying on a malignant, war-hungry Putin to address our energy needs – and we shouldn’t be funding Russia’s efforts to occupy a peaceful nation,” said Senator King. “As long as Russia continues its brutal campaign against the Ukrainian people, the U.S. must take its business elsewhere.”

The Ban Russian Energy Imports Act would:

  • Declare a national emergency specifically with respect to the threat to our national security, foreign policy, and economy that exists as a result of Russian aggression against Ukraine and directs the President to prohibit imports of crude oil, petroleum, petroleum products, LNG, and coal from Russia.
  • The President has had the authority to take these actions since 1917; this legislation does not grant additional authority. This approach is modeled on the International Emergency Economic Powers Act.  
  • The ban would be in place during the national emergency and either the President or Congress would be able to terminate the emergency and the import ban. 
  • The bill exempts product that is already loaded or in transit at the time of enactment. 

In addition to Senators Collins and King, the legislation was introduced by Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Jon Tester (D-MT), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Steve Daines (R-MT), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Dan Sullivan (R-AK), Mark Kelly (D-AZ), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), John Hickenlooper (D-CO), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Mark Warner (D-VA), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Rob Portman (R-OH). Representatives Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA-1) and Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ-5) will introduce companion legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives.

To learn more about the legislation, click here.

To read the full text of the legislation, click here.

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