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Shaheen, Hassan Announce Support for Bipartisan Bill to Ban Russian Energy Imports

**Last week, Shaheen announced on Andrea Mitchell she supported efforts to ban Russian energy sources and called on major oil companies to ramp up oil production as Russia’s aggression drives up the price of oil** 

**Senator Hassan announced last week that she supports sanctions on oil and gas imports from Russia and pushed for action to address Big Oil’s unfair and deceptive trade practices**

(Washington, DC) – Today, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Europe and Regional Security Cooperation, and U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH) announced their support for bipartisan legislation led by U.S. Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), which would prohibit the importation of Russian crude oil, petroleum, petroleum products, liquefied natural gas (LNG) and coal. In addition to Shaheen and Hassan, the Ban Russian Energy Imports Act is also cosponsored by U.S. Senators Jon Tester (D-MT), Susan Collins (R-ME), Angus King (I-ME), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Steve Daines (R-MT), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Dan Sullivan (R-AK), Mark Kelly (D-AZ), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), John Hickenlooper (D-CO), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Mark Warner (D-VA), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Rob Portman (R-OH).

“The United States is leading the global response to Putin’s premediated and unprovoked war in Ukraine, delivering crushing economic penalties for the Kremlin’s crimes. As we bring to bear the punishment we promised Putin for violating Ukraine’s sovereignty, additional tools need to be placed upon the table to increase the pressure on Putin as his violence against the Ukrainian people rages on,” said Shaheen. “As Ukraine fights for its freedom and to defend democracy, the United States needs to pursue other avenues to inflict financial devastation on Russia in response, including banning Russian oil imports. This bipartisan legislation would do just that by declaring a national emergency with regard to Russian aggression. I appreciate Senator Manchin and Murkowski’s leadership on this legislation. I’m glad to lend my support to this bill, and my voice to echo the need for Congress to act swiftly and decisively to punish Putin. We must make him realize that he will reap what he’s sown.”

“It is clear that our sanctions have pushed Russia’s economy to the brink, and banning Russian oil and gas is a critical next step to undermining Putin’s ability to wage war against a sovereign, democratic nation,” said Senator Hassan. “The U.S. and our allies must continue to stand up to Russian aggression and show our solidarity with the Ukrainian people. With widespread bipartisan support, this bill is another critical step in undercutting Putin’s unconscionable invasion, and I urge my colleagues to bring this bill for a vote immediately.”

The Ban Russian Energy Imports Act would:

  • Declare a national emergency specifically with respect to the threat to our national security, foreign policy, and economy that exists as a result of Russian aggression against Ukraine and directs the President to prohibit imports of crude oil, petroleum, petroleum products, LNG, and coal from Russia.
  • The President has had the authority to take these actions since 1917; this legislation does not grant additional authority. This approach is modeled on the International Emergency Economic Powers Act.  
  • The ban would be in place during the national emergency and either the President or Congress would be able to terminate the emergency and the import ban. 
  • The bill exempts product that is already loaded or in transit at the time of enactment. 

To learn more about the Ban Russian Energy Imports Act, please click here.

To read the full text of the Ban Russian Energy Imports Act, please click here.

On Saturday, Shaheen and Hassan participated in a phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Following the call, Shaheen sent a letter with Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) to President Joe Biden on Saturday, urging the administration to support aircraft transfers to Ukraine from Eastern European allies. Shaheen and Portman have led action in the U.S. Senate in support of Ukraine in response to Vladimir Putin’s belligerence against Ukraine, which also threatens the stability and security of Eastern Europe and NATO allies. Last month, Shaheen led a successful bipartisan effort with Portman to pass a resolution that conveys a renewed and overwhelmingly bipartisan message from the U.S. Senate in fierce support of Ukraine. In January, Shaheen and Portman led a bipartisan delegation to Ukraine, where they met with President Zelenskyy and members of his administration.

Senator Shaheen has long led efforts in the Senate to hold Russia accountable for its malign activity against the U.S. and its allies. Because of her role as a negotiator on Russia sanctions legislation known as “CAATSA” and her successful efforts to ban Kaspersky Lab software from operating on U.S. systems, Shaheen was sanctioned by the Kremlin in 2017. Before the Shaheen-Portman congressional delegation visit to Ukraine in January, Shaheen led a bipartisan group of lawmakers to Eastern Europe, including Ukraine, last June. Shaheen has also been a leader in the Senate to stop the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, co-authoring the legislation that was signed into law to impose sanctions on companies working with Russian vessels sent to complete the pipeline.

In addition to supporting strong sanctions, Senator Hassan last week introduced a bipartisan resolution with Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA) to designate Vladimir Putin as a war criminal for his crimes against the Ukrainian people. Senator Hassan is also working across the aisle to bring down energy costs for Granite Staters, including by standing up to Big Oil by working to prevent companies from taking advantage of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine to manipulate oil and gas prices. Senator Hassan also recently introduced legislation to lower high gas prices by temporarily suspending the federal gas tax through the end of the year. Additionally, Senator Hassan successfully called on the Biden administration to take action last week to help lower energy costs by releasing oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. The Senator previously led an effort urging the administration to release oil from the Reserve last November, which the administration subsequently did.