Missouri AG urges Biden to ensure America's energy independence: 'Hard-working families are feeling the pinch'

Lawmakers are urging Biden to end Russian oil imports

EXCLUSIVE: Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt is urging President Biden to take steps to restore America's energy independence as the price of oil in the United States shot up to $110 a barrel this week amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine

"The cost of a gallon of gasoline has risen dramatically to a point that hard-working families are feeling the pinch," Schmitt wrote in a letter to the president on Wednesday. "It is a real concern to the people of my state, whether they are farmers and ranchers, truck drivers, small business owners, or every day families just trying to make a living." 

The average price of gas in the United States has jumped in recent weeks and months, sitting at $3.60 a gallon on Monday, up about 33% from the average price one year ago. 

oil pumpjack

An oil well pump jack is seen at an oil field supply yard near Denver, Colorado. (REUTERS/Rick Wilking/File Photo)

Biden set lofty climate goals as soon as he entered office, aiming to slash greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030 through the promotion of renewable energy sources like wind and solar power. 


As the price of gas for Americans nationwide continues to grow though, Schmitt urged the president to refocus his efforts on fossil fuels by reopening the Keystone Pipeline, which Biden blocked on his first day in office; putting an end to the Interagency Working Group on the Social Cost of Greenhouse Gases, which has revised upwards the social cost of carbon; stopping the federal government’s efforts to cease drilling in the Gulf of Mexico; and other measures that Schmitt believes could restore America’s energy independence. 

"Missouri families are being harmed by these policies every single time they go to fill up their cars, trucks and tractors," Schmitt wrote. "We need relief."

oil platform

The Perdido oil platform is located about 200 miles south of Galveston, Texas, in the Gulf of Mexico.  (AP Photo/Jon Fahey, File)

President Biden noted in his Tuesday evening State of the Union address that America and other countries have released 60 million barrels of oil from reserves around the world, saying that "these steps will help blunt gas prices here at home." 

Despite a rash of sanctions against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine though, Biden has declined so far to stop importing oil from the country, which would hamper their ability to generate revenue. 


Lawmakers are also calling for energy independence from Russia. House Republicans introduced the American Energy Independence from Russia Act this week, which would require Biden to submit an energy security plan to Congress within 30 days. 

Irkutsk oil field

An oil treatment plant in the Yarakta Oil Field, owned by Irkutsk Oil Company (INK), in Irkutsk Region, Russia. (REUTERS/Vasily Fedosenko)

"As Vladimir Putin conducts an unprovoked and unjustified assault on a sovereign nation, the United States must stop importing Russian energy and block their access to this revenue source," Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., said Tuesday. 

A group of Senate Republicans introduced the American Energy Independence Act of 2022, which Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., says would "open up American production full-throttle."


Biden said Wednesday that "nothing is off the table" when it comes to sanctioning Russia's oil industry.