Tester Statement on President Biden’s Support for Bipartisan Effort to Ban Russian Energy

Administration’s decision follows Tester-led bipartisan legislation

U.S. Senator Jon Tester today released the following statement on President Biden’s actions to ban Russian energy imports and support Tester’s bipartisan effort to strengthen American energy independence:

“Banning Russian energy imports is a critical step in isolating Russia and boosting American energy independence,” said Tester. “I appreciate President Biden working with our bipartisan coalition to weaken Putin’s regime and support our Ukrainian allies. The best response to rising gas prices is increasing our domestic production and trade with our allies, not buying from dictators who are actively invading sovereign nations.”

President Biden’s decision comes five days after Tester introduced his bipartisan Ban Russian Energy Imports Act, which would have declared a national emergency in the face of the threats to our national security, foreign policy, and economy that exist as a result of Russian aggression against Ukraine. The legislation would have directed President Biden to prohibit imports of crude oil, petroleum, petroleum products, liquefied natural gas (LNG), and coal from Russia, and would be in place throughout the national emergency.

Biden’s actions also comes on the heels of Tester’s urging for the Administration to work to further increase domestic energy production in response to high gas prices. In Tester’s letter to the Secretaries of Energy, State, and Interior, he called on the Administration to release oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, increase transparency into the oil and gas leasing process, invest in domestic clean energy generation, and to work with oil and gas producers to incentivize domestic energy production in order to lower cost for American consumers. He also reiterated his longstanding support for the Keystone XL Pipeline, and encouraged additional review of similar projects that would keep oil in America.

As a longtime supporter of the Keystone XL Pipeline project, Tester cosponsored bipartisan legislation to override President Biden’s decision to cancel the Keystone XL permit and allow the project to move forward. He also broke with his party to approve the pipeline’s construction in 2015, and when former President Obama vetoed the bill, Tester voted to override the veto.