U.S. leaders are debating banning Russian oil imports in response to its invasion of Ukraine, in addition to restrictions aimed at limited Russian oil exports imposed by the Dept. of Commerce on Friday. Even without official sanctions, Russian refineries have already seen a sharp decline in demand, due to financing restrictions included in extant sanctions and the fear of future sanctions on Russian energy. But a new Media Matters report finds broadcast news barely covered the IPCC report and failed to connect it, climate change in general, or reliance on fossil fuels to the petrostate’s invasion of Ukraine.
Though originally omitted from the initial round of sanctions, momentum is growing in Congress for a ban on importing Russian oil into the U.S. and the Biden administration appears to be softening its opposition to the idea. Russian oil currently accounts for about 3% of crude oil imports, which is, according to fracking CEO Scott Sheffield in an interview with the Financial Times, more than US producers could ramp up in the near term.
Globally, if the West imposes sanctions, “oil is going to go to $200 a barrel, probably — $150 to $200 easy” Sheffield said in expressing his support. But, he cautioned, he would need to consult with shareholders and “ask what their thoughts are” about increasing production to meet the supply gap, and thereby lower prices for consumers. (Broadcast News: Media Matters; Oil, gas, and climate connections: Inside Climate News; Scott Sheffield interview: FT $; Russian oil imports: Washington Post $; Hill: E&E News, CBS; Commerce: Politico Pro $; Self-sanctioning: S&P Global; White House: Axios, Washington Post $, The Hill, Bloomberg $, Washington Examiner, Wall Street Journal $, CNN, S&P Global, NPR, NBC, Reuters, Reuters, Politico, Houston Chronicle)