Embargoing Russian oil could drive gas and other energy costs into the stratosphere but farm margins into the ground. Average gas prices rose 40 cents in a week and could break the national record this week as inflation, war, and now a possible U.S. or U.S./NATO embargo of Russian oil takes a further toll.
Senate Energy Chair and West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin on NBC’s Meet the Press; “Believe it’s basically foolish for us to keep buying products and giving profit and giving money to Putin to use against the Ukrainian people. That’s exactly what he’s doing.”
But Manchin’s bill to embargo Russian oil would mean even higher gas and possibly fertilizer prices, erasing profits from higher grain and oilseed prices. But Manchin claims the U.S. can quickly ramp up energy production. “We don’t have to put any more pain on the American people that are already suffering from inflation, now, but I believe the American people would, basically, pay if they had to, seeing that they’re saving freedom and lives of innocent people.”
But Renewable Fuels Association chief Geoff Cooper argues using more renewables like E15 year-round is a better answer. “We are suggesting that here is an action that can be taken that would have meaningful impacts on gas prices very quickly. If we continue to see this incredible inflation in energy prices, history tells us it typically precedes a recession, and that’s the last thing this country needs right now.”
But the White House and EPA have hedged on year-round E15, and the Biden team fears embargoing Russian oil will drive gas prices even higher ahead of tough mid-term November elections.