The implication of Russia’s predatory war has been devastating for the country. Along with the value of their currency crashing, resulting in their economy tanking and sending the markets into chaos, private companies have been taking further shots to punish the beastly country for their predations, including such things as Netflix banning access to their services in the country, to social media giants like TikTok no longer allowing content from Russia, to Mastercard, AMEX and Visa suspending operations, dealing a major blow to their financial system, and ensuring that any streaming services or business that use those companies will likewise have to suspend operations, having no way to collect their fees.
Governor Gianforte recently pledged to divest all their Russian assets, but state politicians are on the prowl looking for ways to continue to apply pressure from our part of the world. While Gianforte having the capitol building fly a Ukrainian flag is one thing, others have more hard-hitting and impactful plans in the works.
U.S. Senators Steve Daines and John Tester have joined a proposed bipartisan bill, called the Ban Russian Energy Imports Act. Introduced by Alaska’s Republican Senators Dan Sullivan and Lisa Murkowski and co-sponsored by Democrat Senator Joe Manchin, who is the chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. Their bill would prohibit the importation of Russian crude oil, petroleum, petroleum products, natural gas and coal- something that would ultimately also have the effect of benefiting our own producers.
In a statement, Tester said
“Strengthening our energy independence from enemies like Russia has to be a top priority as we unite to confront Putin’s unprovoked war on Ukraine. Banning Russian oil and gas imports will hit Putin where it hurts, our best response to rising gas prices should be increasing our domestic energy production from all sources and increasing trade with our allies, not buying from dictators who are actively invading sovereign nations. This critical step isolates and weakens Putin and the oligarchs who prop him up.”
He further explained in a news conference:
The fact of the matter is energy is something that Putin depends on for his finances, and he’s depending on it to fight this war in Ukraine. We see the tragedy that’s happening in Ukraine for the last week. It is the very least that we can do to stop any energy imports into this country.”
The bill has the backing of 18 Senators so far, along with Democratic heavyweights like Dick Durbin and Nancy Pelosi who have also backed the bill.