U.S. ban on Russian oil imports may raise gas prices even more
MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - In a move to admonish Russia for its assault on Ukraine, President Joe Biden announced Tuesday he will ban the import of Russian oil.
“I’m going to do everything I can to minimize Putin’s price hike here at home,” he said.
Biden also blamed “Putin’s war” for hurting Americans at the pump, though prices had been rising even before Putin’s invasion began.
As a gallon of gas now teeters at four dollars in Madison, UW-Madison professor Jon Pevehouse, whose expertise is in international political economy, said he expects prices continue to increase.
“We don’t know when this is going to stop. If the violence continues to increase, if the violence would spread, I think you’re only going to see more jitters in the oil markets,” he said.
Prices at the pump are not only affecting individual drivers but also community groups that depend on getting around.
Rhonda Adams, executive director of The River Food Pantry in Madison, said, “We have to be really thoughtful in what we’re doing when we’re out on the road because it is our donors that are paying for the gas.”
Pantry staff use vans and trucks send food to families in need.
“We’re just routing every day to figure out what’s the best way for us to go out with vehicles, that we’re not backtracking, that we’re making a straight line,” Adams said.
While less than 10 percent of America’s oil is from Russia, Pevehouse said that is still a large amount of oil. Moreover, with global oil supply cut back and demand constant, he explained the price of oil goes up.
“The retail gasoline market is now experiencing a bit of a whiplash effect of the high crude oil prices,” wrote Matthew Hauser, president and CEO of the Wis. Petroleum Marketers & Convenience Store Association.
His statement to NBC15 continued, in part: “Fuel continues to flow into Wisconsin stations and there is plenty available for customers to purchase.”
Pevehouse also noted, the economy has a way of correcting itself when prices get too high, that is demand will come down.
But in the meantime, Americans will have a stake in Ukraine’s war.
Pevehouse said, “We have our flag in the ground on this one. It is on the side of Ukraine, and we’re going to do what we can to support.”
“If this is our price to pay to help the Ukrainian people to find freedom, we’re willing to do that,” Adams said.
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