Lankford, Colleagues Want to Ban Oil & Natural Gas Imports from Iran & Venezuela, Push American Energy Independence

WASHINGTON, DC —Senators James Lankford (R-OK) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) along with Dan Sullivan (R-AK), Steve Daines (R-MT), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Roger Marshall (R-KS), Thom Tillis (R-NC), John Hoeven (R-ND), and Rick Scott (R-FL) introduced the Preempting Misguided Appeasement and Financing of Destabilizing Regimes Act. The bill would prohibit the importation of Iranian and Venezuelan crude oil, petroleum, petroleum products, and liquefied natural gas into the United States.

“Cutting off purchasing oil and gas from Russia is the right direction, but buying oil or gas from Iran and Venezuela is wrong,” Lankford said. “President Biden said we should promote made in America, but obviously he meant everything but US oil and gas production.” said Lankford. “Biden’s latest deflection from reality is to shift our energy focus from Russia over to Iran, the largest state-sponsor of terrorism, and Maduro in Venezuela who hates the US and murders his own people. This is nonsensical, especially when we have the energy resources we need right here in Oklahoma and the US. Gas prices are high because of Biden’s anti-energy policies, not just Russian aggression. We’re putting this legislation forward to say Biden can’t now beg Iran and Venezuela to try to solve the problems he created.”

“The United States is blessed to have a plentiful supply of oil and natural gas — we should be using it,” Rubio said. “American-produced energy is cleaner and provides good jobs for American workers, yet the Biden Administration would rather appease dictatorships in Iran and Venezuela in return for bad deals and false promises. Under no circumstance should we be funneling money into the hands of dictators and narco-terrorists who are also allies of Vladimir Putin. Enough is enough — it’s time to bring energy production back home. ”

“We should not be reliant on brutal dictators to provide for our country’s energy needs. It’s national security suicide,” Sullivan said. “It is insulting to working families that the Biden administration would rather enrich the despots in Iran and Venezuela than incentivize hard-working Americans to produce more energy. The President needs to quit begging these dictators for more oil and gas, and instead expand energy production here in America.”

“Banning Russian oil imports is important, but it’s not enough,” Daines said. “We need to increase American energy development and support our allies, not run to foreign dictators in Venezuela and adversaries like Iran.”

“The fact that Joe Biden is rumored to be negotiating with Venezuela for crude oil is so offensive,” Cramer said. “Even worse, he may be willing to give Iran, the world’s largest sponsor of terror, billions of dollars a day by removing sanctions for their oil. It’s hard to believe that we would trade one despot in Russia for two despots in Venezuela and Iran. We can produce more energy here with the gold standard of labor and environmental protections. Our bill would stop this by banning the import of oil and natural gas from Iran and Venezuela.”

“Under the previous Administration our nation was energy independent, but President Biden reversed course and turned hostile nations like Russia into America’s gas station,” Marshall said. “Now that President Biden has finally come around to halting Russian oil imports, you would think his natural next step would be to unleash our domestic energy supply and follow through on his pledge to buy American. Instead, the President is now reportedly looking to do business with terrorists and dictators in Iran and Venezuela to fill the void. This is simply unacceptable and will fail to provide short-term or long-term American energy security.” 

“I support the Biden administration’s decision to ban Russian oil imports so we don’t inadvertently help fund Putin’s illegal invasion, but it cannot be an empty gesture to ban oil from one ruthless dictatorship and in turn replace it with oil from another ruthless dictatorship,” Tillis said. “Instead of turning to countries like Iran and Venezuela, the Biden administration must reverse their failed energy policies and immediately expand production here in America.”

“The Biden administration’s willingness to do business with Iran and Venezuela is troubling, and just as we are banning imports of Russian oil, we should not bring oil online from these two adversaries,” Hoeven said. “Iran is the world’s foremost sponsor of terrorism, and Venezuela is still under the rule of an illegitimate and violent regime. As such, the US needs to maintain pressure on these two nations, not ease sanctions on their primary source of revenue, especially when we can and should produce that energy here at home.”

“It is about time we strengthen our oil and natural gas sanctions against genocidal regimes like Iran and Venezuela, and I applaud the previous administration for leading the charge in this fight. It’s a no-brainer,” Scott said. “The current administration is turning to genocidal regimes, like Maduro in Venezuela and Iran, in an attempt to bring in more oil, when Biden should put America first and build up our own energy independence. The US cannot depend on one murderous dictator over another, we must depend on ourselves.”