BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — Before President Joe Biden addresses the nation in his first State of the Union speech, Louisiana congressmen are voicing what they think should be the president’s next steps in the Russian conflict.
When it comes to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, energy sources are taking a focus on the international level. With Russia being the third-largest oil producer, Europe and the U.S. are ending support of their product. Louisiana congressmen believe the United States needs to be at the front of that shift.
“Not only will it help American families, but it will take away Putin’s leverage,” Rep. Steve Scalise said. “Think about this number today between the United States, the UK and the European Union. Every single day we are sending $700 million a day to Putin by buying his oil.”
In recent weeks, the Biden administration has halted new drilling in the fight to curb climate change. Sen. Bill Cassidy said making the United States more reliant on OPEC now will hurt efforts to sanction Russia’s economy.
“We should be creating jobs here instead of over there, and rather than producing energy with our environmental standards,” Sen. Cassidy said. “It’ll be produced over there with little to no standards, which increases global emissions.“
He believes the U.S. should not be sending troops to Ukraine since other NATO countries are not at this time. He is in support of the country continuing to help arm Ukraine to fight against Russian attacks.
“So it appears as if we are side by side with our NATO allies in terms of the military response, but similar to us, they are committing arms, they’re supplying humanitarian aid, but they’re not committing troops,” Sen. Cassidy said.
Rep. Garret Graves penned a letter to the administration also calling for energy production to be allowed to ramp up and increase global leverage over Russia and China. Graves released a statement after it was announced President Biden would tap into the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to send aid to Ukraine.
“The Biden Administration’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve announcement today is like using Flex Seal to plug a hole on the Hoover Dam. It may make them feel like they are doing something, but it is not a long-term solution. The spike in energy prices all Americans are paying is the result of self-inflicted bad decisions by Biden Administration officials. Blocking the production of American energy while increasing our reliance on Russian energy is beyond stupid, yet this is exactly what has happened. These very policies have effectively funded much of Vladimir Putin’s attack on Ukraine and attack on freedom. We predicted this exact outcome and nothing but more pain is on the horizon without wholesale energy policy changes,” Rep. Graves said.
President Joe Biden will address the nation Tuesday evening at 8 p.m. CT.