Washington was aware that sanctions against Russia would have consequences for the US, causing a spike in energy prices, President Joe Biden said on Wednesday.
Speaking at the White House, Biden blamed Russia for hikes in US fuel costs, saying the American people and the rest of the world would have to pay a price for siding with Ukraine.
“We cut off Russian oil into the United States, and our partners in Europe did the same, knowing that we would see higher gas prices.” he said, adding that the US Congress gave near unanimous support to the oil ban, “knowing full well the cost.”
Gasoline prices in the US are now hovering near $5 per gallon, compared to roughly $3 per gallon a year ago. According to Biden, the US government is doing everything it can “to reduce this pain at the pump.” The president proposed suspending the 18-cent federal gas tax for the next three months, and called on states to remove their own taxes on fuel. Biden also urged oil refining companies to increase their capacity.
Fuel costs began rising in the US in the winter amid a spike in global oil prices, with demand soaring due to the lifting of coronavirus restrictions. Sanctions against Russia added to the problem, after Western countries began to shun Russian oil.
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