President Biden’s ban on Russian oil was a “political decision” after it became “a news cycle problem for him,” Rep. Brian Mast told Fox News.
Biden said Tuesday that he was banning imports of Russian oil and natural gas in response to the superpower’s invasion of Ukraine. Mast said he supported the ban on Russian fuel, but questioned why Biden only now decided to implement the ban.
“He’s now realized that for him, it is a political problem,” the Florida Republican said. “It’s an MSNBC news cycle problem.”
“That’s the only thing that’s changed between day one of the war and today,” he continued, noting that Biden didn’t take questions.
Russia invaded Ukraine nearly two weeks ago, but was amassing troops on its border for months.
Mast also said Biden’s “war on American energy,” and not just sanctions on Russia, are causing increased gas prices. It also amounts to “a war on Americans that are on fixed incomes,” he added.
“It began when he was campaigning,” Mast said. “It ramped up on day-one policies for him after he was inaugurated and canceled the [Keystone] XL Pipeline.”
“It continued from there throughout the last year,” he added.
Those decisions prevented the U.S. from being able to produce enough to help Europe migrate away from its dependence on Russian gas, according to Mast. About 40% of Europe’s total gas imports come from Russia.
“Long term, if those projects wouldn’t have been canceled, we would be that much closer to saying we can supply more to Europe, we can make more exports to Europe,” Mast told Fox News.
“We can’t just get them online,” he continued. “There’s not a short term solution to just drumming up the demand for all oil needs in the middle of winter for all of Europe.”
Biden administration officials traveled to Venezuela, and a visit to Saudi Arabia is on the table. Reports suggest the administration is considering repairing relations with those countries to increase oil supplies.
“Because of this war on American energy, the president is looking to make a new alignment with what we previously called the axis of evil,” Mast told Fox News.
“You might question maybe after this if he’ll try to work an arms deal with North Korea or something like that if we’re making these kinds of deals for energy with these entities,” Mast added.
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