Earlier this week a Trafalgar Group found that over three-quarters of Americans believe President Joe Biden should make increasing energy productions his top priority in the U.S. as war rages on in Ukraine.
The poll that was released Wednesday, March 16, found that 77.3% of respondents believe that domestic oil production should be Biden’s priority during the war in Ukraine, while 9.3% said it should not be a priority. This was also a by-partisan decision with 88.6% of Republicans, 67% of Democrats, and 77.6% of Independents said they supported the ideas of increasing energy production.
The poll was taken between March 7 through 11, surveying 1,073 adults and had a 2.99% margin-of-error.
President Biden and his administration has been facing immense bipartisan pressure to increase domestic oil production ever since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in late February. In 2021, the U.S. imported over 670,000 barrels of oil per day from Russia, who is the third largest oil producer in the world.
On March 8, after immense pressure from Americans, the president finally issued a ban oi all imports of Russian oil. His intent was to target the main artery of Russia’s economy along with other sanctions on their economy. Crude oil has exceeded $100 per barrel and gas prices have increased above $4 per gallon, some of it being due to Russian saying that if sanctions were not eased, they would raise the price of their oil to $300 per barrel. as well.
As a way to solve the rising prices, the Biden administration has pushed for staying away from oil productions and promoting ways to transition to clean energy, such as buying electric vehicles. There are several problems with this plan, number one being most working Americans can’t afford the price of electric vehicles, and also increasing their home energy costs from charging their vehicles. Also, the demand on our electric grid and the lack of charging stations in our country has not been resolved.
Many lawmakers, from both political parties, have pushed back on this agenda by calling for the administration to reverse the cancellation of the Keystone XL Pipeline the ban on new federal oil leases.
According to Reuters two sources familiar with the matter told them that Biden offered to remove oil trading sanctions imposed on Venezuela to increase U.S. supply. The administration had previously considered removing sanctions on Venezuela’s energy sector in a rare face-to-face meeting with top Venezuelan officials on March 7.
The potential for warming relations between the Biden administration and Maduro’s regime, which is being investigated by an international criminal court for crimes against humanity, illustrated how global relations and values are being scrambled during the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Biden has faced some strong pushback from allies on Capitol Hill. Earlier this week Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ), the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, urged the White House not to go forward with any kind of deal.
Menendez said in a statement, “Nicolas Maduro is a cancer to our hemisphere and we should not breathe new life into his reign of torture and murder. The Biden administration’s efforts to unify the entire world against a murderous tyrant in Moscow should not be undercut by propping up a dictator under investigation for crimes against humanity in Caracas.”