On Thursday, FOX Business’ Charles Payne suggested that tyrants will likely use Western funds to fund their own “rogue regimes” and asked why the United States imported oil from Russia at record levels in 2021.
“Why are we importing a record 232 million barrels of oil from Russia last year? And that was only through November. In fact, we set a monthly record of 26 million barrels last May,” he asked.
Is It Really That Much?
President Joe Biden promised upon entering the White House that he would wean the United States off of fossil fuel, stopping all new oil drilling leases on federal land and canceling the Keystone XL pipeline between the United States and Russia.
That has not stopped the United States’ dependence on oil, however, and millions of barrels of oil per month are imported from Russia, Canada, Mexico, and a host of other countries.
The United States Energy Information Administration states that the United States imported an average of 266 million barrels of crude oil every month in the last half of 2021. Imports from Russia made up 8.2% of imports in that period. That’s less than the 9% that came from the Persian Gulf and substantially less than the 49.5% that came from Canada.
While Russian imports of oil constitute a relatively small percentage of U.S. crude oil imports, in absolute numbers, it is not insignificant. That’s almost 22 million barrels of oil per month.
That number has been steadily increasing over the last several years, too. In the spring of 2021, Russian crude oil imports reached their highest level in the last ten years.
Why It Matters
The United States used on average around 18.19 million barrels of crude per day in 2020, and around 6.66 billion barrels across the whole year. Russia supplies almost one million barrels of oil per day to the United States.
Not only may the Ukraine-Russia war cause a supply disruption, but uncertainty will continue to drive prices upwards. When National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan announced that Russia may invade Ukraine “at any moment,” the price of oil rose by over 2%. Now, following the invasion, the price of a barrel oil continues to shift wildly up and down.
The last time oil cost this much was in 2014, following Russia’s annexation of Crimea.
Not only is Russia one of the largest suppliers of crude oil in the world, however, it is also a substantial supplier of natural gas – a fuel that is required in the refining of crude oil into other fuels.
Jack Buckby is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and report on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.