Thursday, March 17, 2022

News about Russia, Energy and the Ukraine

Washington, D.C. - March 18, 2022 - (The Ponder News) -- Eighty-nine members from the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate have called upon the Department of Health and Human Services to take additional steps to reduce energy costs in the wake of Vladimir Putin’s egregious invasion of Ukraine.

In their letter to HHS, they stated, "Americans have already begun to feel the financial impact of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine as oil prices surge to their highest level since 2008 and natural gas prices have risen approximately 60 percent higher than this time last year. Prices for deliverable fuels like propane and heating oil have also remained high, and were 40 percent higher in the first week of March than they were at the same point last year. These are troubling signs for the majority of American households that use either natural gas or deliverable fuels to heat their homes. Moreover, should Russia take additional action to further destabilize global energy markets, we fear the subsequent costs on American energy bills will be severe. "

U.S. Representative Darin Lahood (R-IL, 18th) has said, "On day one in office, President Biden moved to reduce American energy production and prioritize left-wing Green New Deal initiatives, increasing our reliance on foreign adversaries for energy. These policies alone have pushed gas prices to record highs. Instead of working to prioritize American energy production, the Administration is currently negotiating with dictators in Iran and Venezuela. Now is the time to take decisive action to unleash America's energy sector, including oil, gas, renewables, and Illinois biofuels, to protect our national security and protect Americans at the pump," in a statement concerning a House vote to ban Russian energy on March 10, 2022.

On March 15th, President Biden signed a one-time $13.6 billion spending bill providing Ukraine with military and humanitarian aid in their fight against the Russian invasion. $6.5 billion was allocated to the U.S. Department of Defense to deploy troops to the NATO region and send defense equipment, over $4 billion will be used for humanitarian support for refugees fleeing Ukraine and people displaced within the country, and nearly $1.8 billion to help respond to the economic needs in Ukraine and neighboring countries, such as energy and cybersecurity.

According to U.S. Representative Doug Lamborn (R-CO, 5th), "It is because of immense pressure from Congress that sanctions have been imposed on Russia and vital assistance has been given to Ukraine."

Yesterday, Senators James Lankford (R-OK), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Rick Scott (R-FL), Roger Wicker (R-MS), and Mitt Romney (R-UT) introduced a Senate resolution urging the Biden Administration to facilitate the transfer of aircraft, such as MiG-29s, and air defense systems to Ukraine.

The resolution:

  • Encourages the President of the United States to support the transfer of aircraft, such as MiG-29s, and air defense systems to Ukraine.
  • Supports continued efforts by members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and other countries around the globe to identify additional aviation and air defense capabilities to transfer to the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
  • Expresses that the Senate stands with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and the Ukrainian people in their struggle against Russian aggression.
  • Also, the Senate passed the Suspending Normal Trade Relations with Russia and Belarus Act which passed by a 424-8 margin.

    This bill will:

  • Provide the President with the authority to increase tariffs on Russian and Belarusian products.
  • Require the U.S. Trade Representative to seek suspension of Russia's participation in the World Trade Organization (WTO) and to halt Belarus's WTO accession.
  • Provide the President with the authority to restore normal trade relations with Russia and Belarus if they cease their acts of aggression, subject to Congressional overrule.
  • Sources:
    U.S. Representative Darin Lahood (R-IL, 18th)
    U.S. Representative Doug LaMalfa (R-CA, 1st)
    U.S. Representative Doug Lamborn (R-CO, 5th)
    U.S. Representative Jim Langevin (D-RI, 2nd)
    Senator James Lankford (R-OK)
    U.S. Representative John B. Larson (D-CT, 1st)

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