by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Congressional Republicans are pushing for energy independence as part of the U.S. response to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s attack on Ukraine.
Speaking to the Washington Examiner shortly before President Joe Biden’s first State of the Union address, Rep. Drew Ferguson, chief deputy whip for House Republicans, called the unfolding situation in Ukraine “an unmitigated disaster.”
“We’ve got to stand united with our allies to break Putin to make sure that the people of Ukraine have the resources that they need to fight this war,” Ferguson said, adding that Putin’s actions will have “devastating” consequences for the Russian people and economy.
Ferguson said the United States should immediately stop buying Russian oil.
“We cannot let monsters rule this earth,” he said. “When you enable a monster by giving them cash, you continually feed the problem.”
Ferguson criticized Biden for signing an executive order to block the Keystone XL pipeline on his first day in office, arguing that the move “immediately destroyed the American energy independence that we had created.”
Some estimates indicate that the pipeline may have eventually reduced Russian oil imports, but it is unlikely that had the project continued, it would currently be complete.
Ferguson said the Russian imports are “funding Putin’s war efforts.”
“Why in the world would we continue to buy Russian or every barrel of oil that we buy has Ukrainian blood in it?” he asked. “We’ve got to put an end to that.”
He argued that the president should adopt an “all of the above strategy that really focuses on using the resources that this great country has.”
“We can produce more clean American energy here using American natural gas and American oil,” Ferguson said. “We can supply ourselves, and we can supply our allies. And we don’t have to keep funding this horrible regime in Russia. There’s no place for this, and there should be smarter policies by the American government.”