Senate unlikely to pass House-approved energy import restrictions
© Getty Images / Stephen Swintek
The US has been vocal about restricting Russian oil imports, but sources say an actual ban is unlikely as it would further propel gasoline prices, which are already record high.
On March 8, President Joe Biden announced his administration was banning Russian oil, natural gas and coal imports to the US as part of a sanctions package in response to Russia’s military operation in Ukraine. Two days later, the House of Representatives passed a bill to ban Russian energy imports. The media, which speculated how long it would take for sanctions to turn toward energy carriers, quickly picked up the news, with some Western experts saying the US move could be followed by other countries.
However, according to CNN, US Senate sources are now saying it’s unlikely their chamber will move on the bill to turn it into law. The sources explain that the move by the Senate is considered unnecessary after the president took executive action to ban the imports. Also, according to Senator Joe Manchin, who chairs the Senate Energy Committee, the House bill is weaker than Biden’s executive action, so the Senate is reluctant to move on the measure.