The swelling chorus of requests for higher oil production in the United States has grown bipartisan, with moderate Democratic Senators Joe Manchin (WV) and Jon Tester (MT) calling for increased local oil production rather than importing the natural resource from other countries on Tuesday.
When approached by CNN’s Manu Raju in the Capitol, the two Democrats emphasized the necessity of domestic oil production, even as the Biden administration looks to countries like Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Venezuela to fill supply shortages caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Manchin has taken it to the next level. The moderate Democrat, who chairs the Senate Energy and Commerce Committee, was withholding a vote on President Joe Biden’s nominee for assistant Interior secretary for land and minerals management, Laura Daniel-Davis, because she was concerned that the Biden administration was not doing enough to boost domestic production.
Tester, Dem from Montana, on talk of importing Venezuelan and Iranian energy to offset Russian ban: “We shouldn’t be advancing other countries who don’t share our values.”— Manu Raju (@mkraju) March 8, 2022
Manchin: “If we are asking the rest of the world to step up, let’s show that we’re going to step up.” pic.twitter.com/KHYeNYqoGF
Manchin and Tester are the latest members of Congress to push on the United States to enhance domestic oil production in order to lower increasing gas prices for Americans.
According to GasBuddy, gas prices hit a new high on Monday, reaching an average of $4.104 a gallon. The largest seven-day price increase on record for gasoline was 49.1 cents per gallon. Republicans in Congress have been appealing with Vice President Joe Biden’s administration to rebuild domestic oil production for days, but Biden has yet to reply. Instead, administration officials have floated the notion of buying more oil from countries like Iran and Saudi Arabia, and several officials are said to have visited with Venezuelan officials in an attempt to persuade the country to increase its oil production. Meanwhile, Biden has imposed a Russian oil and natural gas embargo, seeking to cut off Russia’s key economic artery.