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Heinrich Cosponsors Legislation To Ban Russian Oil Imports

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) cosponsored the Severing Putin’s Immense Gains from Oil Transfers (SPIGOT) Act, legislation that would prohibit the importation of Russian oil and petroleum products into the United States, and mandate a plan to replace those imports with alternative, clean sources of energy.

“We need to cut off our imports of a dirty energy source whose profits are allowing Vladimir Putin and the Russian regime to buy weapons, commit human rights abuses, and wage an unprovoked and unjustified war in Ukraine. But if we want to end our country’s dangerous long-term reliance on foreign oil and petroleum products, we must pair an import ban with strong investments and a clear plan to replace them with clean and carbon pollution-free energy sources,” said Heinrich.

In addition to banning Russian oil and natural gas imports, the SPIGOT Act would support the Biden Administration in uncovering the relationship between Russian President Vladimir Putin, Russian oil oligarchs, and human rights abuses. In 2021, the Russian Federation became the second-largest exporter of crude oil to the United States. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the United States imported approximately 245,000,000 barrels of crude oil and petroleum products from the Russian Federation in 2021, which would equal an estimated $17.4 billion in revenue to Russia. According to the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation, 36 percent of all revenue of the government of the Russian Federation came from the oil and gas sector in 2021.

The legislation is led in the U.S. Senate by U.S. Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and U.S. Representatives Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) and Nancy Mace (R-S.C.) in the U.S. House of Representatives.

“We must empty the tanks of American vehicles of Russia’s dirty oil and gas — the same energy sources that fuel Russia’s convoy of tanks and armored vehicles in Ukraine. Prohibiting Russian crude oil and petroleum will strike at the piggy banks of corrupt Russian oligarchs who have enabled Putin’s repression at home and brutality abroad,” said Markey. “There is no separating Russian oil from the corruption and human rights abuses of the Putin regime. That is why I am proud to have Senator Heinrich and Representatives Khanna and Mace join me in supporting the SPIGOT Act, which would deny Putin and his cronies billions and help usher in a clean energy economy that frees our country from the oily spigot of authoritarians.”

“Almost a decade ago, Senator John McCain urged us to reassess our relationship with Russia, calling it ‘a gas station masquerading as a country.’ There is still time to heed his warning,” said Khanna. “America should not be dependent on Russian oil and gas. Instead, we must ban all imports of Russian crude oil and petroleum products and invest massively in renewable energy here at home."

“Vladimir Putin is funding his invasion of Ukraine through the oil and gas we import from Russia. Every barrel we import is stained with Ukrainian blood. I don’t know a single person who wants to fill their car with Russian gas and they don’t have to,” said Mace. “Far more consequential than throwing away Russian vodka, let’s throw away our dependence on Russia’s oil. We are importing around 600,000 barrels of oil from Russia per day; Russia’s President Vladimir Putin uses the money he gains from oil and gas exports to fund his illegal invasion of Ukraine. We should harness the incredible industry and innovation we have here in America to create sustainable and renewable energy sources and exert our energy independence.”

A copy of the legislation can be found by clicking here.