“Internationally, countries and companies are divesting and boycotting from Putin’s Russia and looking to source locally and from allies,” the Railroad Commission of Texas’s Wayne Christian said in a letter to Biden on Friday. “The U.S. shouldn’t be any different. We can and should be self-reliant — let’s source and buy American.”
After rebuffing the idea of a ban on imports of Russian crude earlier this week, the Biden administration is now weighing such a move, according to people familiar with the matter. In the meantime, some U.S. buyers are already shunning Russian supplies following the invasion of Ukraine.
The possibility of sanctions on Russian oil has fueled this week’s dramatic price rally amid concern about the availability of supplies to fill any shortfall. The domestic U.S. oil industry has the potential to increase production significantly, but has complained about a lack of support from the current White House administration. The government has said that private companies are free to drill more if they want.
Christian, a Republican, is up for re-election this year to the commission, which oversees oil and gas production in Texas. His comments echo those of the American Petroleum Institute, an industry group, whose chief executive officer, Mike Sommers, said earlier this week that, “like in World War II and other crises, America has Europe’s back,” and that it should support domestic production.