Biden’s energy agenda would reduce oil demand

U.S. President Joe Biden removes his mask to deliver an update on the Omicron variant at the White House in Washington, U.S., November 29, 2021. (REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque)

President Biden’s announcement that the United States will ban imports of Russian oil caused the price of crude to surge on Tuesday morning. However, the pain that Americans are set to feel at the gas pump could eventually be offset if Congress were to pass Biden’s Build Back Better agenda, a new study finds.

An analysis released Tuesday by the nonpartisan think tank Energy Innovation finds that the climate change provisions of Biden’s now-defunct proposal, such as tax credits for buying new electric vehicles, would have reduced U.S. oil consumption by 2025 by half of the roughly 200,000 barrels of crude oil from Russia per day that the U.S. imported last year. By 2027, the U.S. would have cut oil consumption by more than it was importing from Russia and by 2030, the U.S. would have cut oil consumption by more than double its Russian imports.

President Biden at the microphone in the White House.
President Biden speaks in the Roosevelt Room of the White House on March 8, 2022. (Oliver Contreras/Sipa/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

“As long as long as we are dependent on an international energy commodity like oil, whose prices are based on the actions of all producers in the world, whether it’s Russia or OPEC or the U.S., we’re never going to be energy secure,” Robbie Orvis, senior director of energy policy design at Energy Innovation and the author of the report, told Yahoo News. “The only robust, long-term way to be energy secure is to eliminate demand for fossil fuels. The provisions on the table right now would really kind of kick-start that transition.”

Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., who co-sponsored the Green New Deal legislation, issued a statement on Tuesday calling for the Russian oil import ban to be made permanent and to pass the climate portion of Build Back Better, which would spend $555 billion over 10 years on everything from tax credits for buying solar panels, to incentives for manufacturing longer-lasting solar batteries and small modular nuclear reactors.

“By enacting a clean energy revolution, we can break our addiction to dirty oil and gas, and permanently shut off the money pipeline to Putin and other oil oligarchs,” Markey said to Yahoo News, in a separate statement sent by his spokesperson. “We have broad agreement on the need for $555 billion in climate and clean energy investments as part of our economic and infrastructure agenda, and now is our moment to deliver on it, as we continue to work towards passing a Green New Deal.”