The White House says it's considering a range of options for Russian oil imports
The White House is considering a "range of options" when it comes to U.S. imports of Russian oil, including cutting imports, Cecilia Rouse, the chair of the Council of Economic Advisers, told reporters on Friday.
"We are looking at options that we can take right now if we were to cut the U.S. consumption of Russian energy. But what's really most important is that we maintain a steady supply of global energy," Rouse said at a briefing. "We do not want to disrupt that market."
Rouse addressed reporters amid calls to ban oil imports as Russia continues its war on Ukraine — and amid worries about gas prices.
Americans are already paying more for gas and could see additional increases as the bloody war for Ukraine's sovereignty continues.
The current average price for a gallon of regular gas is $3.837, up from $2.745 a year ago, according to AAA.
On Thursday, San Francisco became the first major city in U.S. history to reach an average gas price of $5 a gallon, according to the website GasBuddy.
Russian oil currently accounts for about 10% of U.S. imports.
Some Democratic lawmakers, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., want the U.S. to ban those imports altogether.
"I'm all for that," Pelosi told reporters on Thursday when asked about Senate Democrats' efforts to introduce legislation to prohibit Russian oil imports.
"Ban it. Ban the oil coming from Russia," she said.
But the White House has said that restrictions on Russian oil would increase gasoline prices in the United States and abroad, hurting consumers and benefiting Russian President Vladimir Putin.
"There isn't a strategic interest in reducing global oil supplies," White House press secretary Jen Psaki said on Friday. "We are looking at ways to reduce the import of Russian oil while also making sure that we are maintaining the global supply needs that are out there."
Psaki said she wouldn't predict exactly how the U.S. would accomplish reducing Russian oil imports, but that the White House remained engaged with Congress on the matter.