Americans as well as much of the Western world were united in condemning Russia for invading Ukraine.
Now they might have to start putting their money where they say, as US lawmakers consider an embargo on Russian oil.
High inflation and rising energy prices in a context of pandemic recovery were already making life more expensive.
Now, just over a week into Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war, California has become the first US state to have an average gasoline price above $5 a gallon.
Gas prices are skyrocketing nationwide. The average national record for gasoline – $4.11, set in 2008 – is in sight. That would be a huge jump from a year ago, when the national average price was $2.75 a gallon.
The average price of diesel is also skyrocketing, driving up transportation costs for businesses.
What Congress does: US lawmakers are pushing a bipartisan effort to end all Russian oil imports and sanction Russia’s energy sector.
The fact that the energy sector has so far been largely unaffected speaks to the nature of the world’s energy supply. Russia was the world’s second largest oil producer last year, behind the United States. A disruption in oil exports would drive up costs everywhere.
But politicians are ready to pay the price. “I totally agree. Ban it,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Capitol Hill this week.
“I would gladly pay 10 cents more per gallon,” Sen. Joe Manchin, Democrat of West Virginia, said at a press conference Thursday.
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