US Russian Oil Embargo Fuels Energy, Trade Debates


The U.S. embargo of Russian oil is fueling new energy and trade debates in Washington as the world faces a rapid recalibration of commercial, political, and military ties. The embargo is expected to continue fueling the price run-up in gas, natural gas, and other inputs key for U.S. agriculture and other sectors.

Capitol Hill Republicans blame President Biden’s energy policies, Democrats blame Russia’s Vladimir Putin and defend the embargo. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. “It’s a moral issue. We don’t want to fuel the Russian war effort with dollars from their oil. Second, I think it’ll have some effect, and third, it may send a message to lots of oil producers and oil buyers that we are against this.”

Iowa Republican Joni Ernst agrees with the embargo but not Biden’s pivot to electric vehicles instead of those using domestic fuel and biofuel. “The president’s plan to move towards electric vehicles will not be realized anytime soon. We don’t have the infrastructure for EVs and, mind you, we’re turning from one adversary’s energy sources to another adversary’s energy sources.”

She’s pointing to China’s mining and making of materials and parts for EV batteries.

Supply chains already upset by the pandemic now face war challenges as China rethinks its relations with Russia, and Taiwan moves even closer to the US. Taiwan Minister John Deng at a virtual Brookings Institution event. “We import many food(s) from the United States: wheat, soybeans, corn. So, we need very reliable supply chain partners.”

He’s urging his Brookings audience to press the Biden Administration to include Taiwan in its Indo-Pacific Economic Framework as Taipei moves its global computer chip-making operations away from China and into the United States.