In 2021, the U.S. imported only 3% of its oil from Russia. Since international oil companies are privately owned, the cost of oil goes up and down according to global supply and demand. Even before Putin invaded Ukraine, the booming economy increased demand for oil and thus increased prices. However, 65% of Americans support cutting Russian oil despite expected price hikes.
On February 20, 2022, Tom Wilson of Financial Times reported that the seven top oil companies made a near-record $38 to $41 billion to shareholders through stock buybacks, after distributing $50 billion in dividends.
Now, the Republicans are blaming gas prices on President Biden. How ridiculous. Only about 10% of drilling takes place on public land, and there are currently about 9000 permits already issued that the energy industry refuses to develop. Venezuelan oil has been under U.S. sanctions since 2019.
Biden’s cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline has nothing to do with gas prices or supply. The Keystone Pipeline, which runs from oil sand fields in Alberta, Canada, to Cushing, Oklahoma, exists and is fully operational. Full stop. The pipeline was designed for export.
However, two new additions to the original pipeline adding 1700 new miles are misunderstood. One addition connects Cushing to oil refineries in Texas on the Gulf Coast. That section was built and went into operation in January 2017.
The second extension is controversial and extremely dangerous. It was to carry crude oil through the sacred lands of Native Americans and would run over a huge aquifer threatening water supplies when it leaks.