According to White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, the United States is presently “very open” to the imposition of sanctions on the oil and gas industry within Russia. The Biden administration is also presently evaluating the impact that these sanctions may have on the economy, especially as oil prices move towards an 11-year high while disruptions to the supply chain continue to mount.
In various television appearances, Psaki declared that the White House is still mulling whether or not to sanction the enormous energy sector in Russia due to the nation’s ongoing onslaught of Ukraine, namely due to the shocks that could occur to the world’s global oil markets in response.
However, when asked by an MSNBC reporter whether or not the United States and other allies would commence sanctions on Russia’s energy sector, Psaki replied, “we’re very open.”
“We’re considering it,” Psaki continued, “it’s very much on the table, but we need to weigh what all of the impacts will be.”
In the meantime, the highest level Republican and Democrat on the Senate energy committee, Senator Lisa Murkowski and Senator Joe Manchin, suggested a bill that would ban the import of any petroleum products from Russia through the declaration of a national emergency.
The two senators are working together jointly in order to garner support for the bill, according to a spokesperson for Manchin.
Thus far, the Biden administration has yet to target the sales of Russian oil following its massive economic sanctions. Nonetheless, active traders have already moved to put imports on hold, subsequently causing disruption to the energy markets.
“That’s something we heavily weigh,” Psaki bemoaned to CNN.
Approximately one week after the invasion of the Ukraine, crude oil futures in the United States spiked to $110.60 per barrel, representing the highest increase since May 2011. In addition, Brent, a global benchmark, settled at the highest prices since June 2014, at $112.93 per barrel.
In addition, OPEC+ nations opted to continue increasing output moderately, which will also offer limited relief to consumers and the market.
Earlier in the week, the United States announced that it would release 60 million barrels of oil in conjunction with allies in order to help offset major disruptions to the supply chain.
“We want to minimize the impact [of sanctions] on the global market place, [which would include] the global oil market place and the impact of energy prices for the American people,” Psaki continued.
“We’re not trying to hurt ourselves,” Psaki concluded, “we’re trying to hurt President Putin and the Russian economy.”