US President Joe Biden’s bold move in halting Russian oil imports will impose costs on Americans through higher gasoline prices, according to Richard Kauzlarich, the co-director of the Center for Energy Science and Policy at George Mason University on Wednesday.
Biden signed an executive order Tuesday that bans all imports of Russian oil, liquefied natural gas (LNG) and coal to the US.
Kauzlarich, a former US Ambassador to Azerbaijan, told Anadolu Agency that halting Russian oil imports would not have that great an impact on physical oil demand in the US.
The US is not as dependent on Russian oil and gas as allies in Europe, with only about 8% of US oil and refined product imports coming from Russia.
However, Kauzlarich said that Americans will expect the shortfall in Russian imports to be met by ramping up domestic production of oil and gas.
'Americans will be looking for any sign that international energy companies are benefiting from higher prices and will expect that the US will produce more oil and gas domestically,' he said.
The ban on imports is set to hit the Russian economy hard as it is heavily dependent on energy revenue.
'The move comes with bipartisan support and will further deprive Russian President Vladimir Putin of economic resources he uses to continue his war on Ukraine,' the White House had said in a statement.
The US imported almost 700,000 barrels per day of crude oil and refined petroleum products from Russia last year, according to the White House.
Americans are now prohibited from financing or enabling foreign companies in making investments for energy production in Russia.
After Biden's decision, US gasoline prices climbed to the highest level in almost 14 years on Tuesday, March 8, according to data compiled by Anadolu Agency.
The national average stood at $4.173 a gallon for regular gasoline, its highest since July 2008, data from the American Automobile Association (AAA) showed.
The highest price was in the state of California at $5.444 per gallon.
That was followed by Hawaii at $4.718 and Nevada at $4.674.
The only US state below the $4 mark was West Virginia at $2.986.
By Murat Temizer