MSNBC host Joe Scarborough called out President Joe Biden and Democrats Wednesday for not taking steps to decrease U.S. dependence on Russian oil.
“Our dependence on Russian oil continues despite the fact that we are the largest producer in the world, despite the fact that we actually are not getting all of the energy out of the ground that we can get, temporarily, because of this war,” Scarborough said on “Morning Joe.” “Wouldn’t it strategically make a lot of sense for the United States to ramp up oil production so they can cut off the dependence on Russian oil?”
Scarborough suggested that increasing domestic oil and energy production should at least be done “temporarily” for the “cause of freedom.” He added Democrats could return to current polices in the aftermath of the war. (RELATED: ‘No Longer Energy Dependent’: Martha MacCallum Confronts Jake Sullivan Over Keystone XL Pipeline)
“Why not, if we have the ability to not be dependent on Russian oil, why wouldn’t we take that step right now in a time of war?” he continued.
In January 2021, the Biden administration revoked a key permit for the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline, which intended to carry 8,000 barrels of oil from Canada to Texas. He also paused oil and gas companies from new drilling on federal lands and barred them from receiving new federal leases.
The administration’s recent sanctions against Russia have so far not impacted the country’s oil and gas exports, which provided nearly 40% of Russia’s federal budget in 2019. The full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine led the global price of crude oil to skyrocket to over $10o per barrel Feb. 24, the first time it had hit that mark since 2014.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said during a Tuesday appearance on “America’s Newsroom” that the reversal of the administration’s current domestic energy policies would have no impact on the rise of energy and gas prices. She also argued the administration took steps to combat rising costs by tapping into the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) to release 50 million barrels of oil in November, though the Western Texas Intermediate crude oil index still rose over 2% on Nov. 23.
Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis also called on Biden and European allies to “hit” Russian President Vladimir Putin “at the gas pump, [and] hit him with energy” at a Tuesday press conference.