Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) explained the need to target Russia’s oil and gas industry following the Russian president’s invasion of Ukraine and condemned President Biden’s attack on America’s oil and gas industry.
Below are key excerpts from Kennedy’s remarks.
“There’s one thing I don’t get. We’re all in agreement that we need to kick Putin and Russia out of the international community, and the West is in agreement that we need to kick Putin and Russia out of the international marketplace. How do you do that without attacking his oil? How do you do that without attacking his natural gas?
“As I read the president’s sanctions, he hasn’t sanctioned all Russian banks, and he hasn’t thrown all Russian banks out of SWIFT. And why has he not done that? Because he wants to continue to allow Putin to sell his oil and natural gas.”
. . .
“I think that both Putin and Xi are taking advantage of the West’s—including but not limited to the United States’—frontal assault on oil and gas. If Europe stops purchasing oil and gas from Russia tomorrow—which is the only way you’re going to cut off his cash flow—then there’s going to be a deficit, and America’s got to fill it.
“And we can’t do that as long as the Biden administration is shutting down drilling in the Gulf, shutting down drilling in ANWAR, refusing to open the Keystone Pipeline, instructs FERC to hang all over the backs of every pipeline company in America, and I could go on and on and on.
“So, we can’t have it both ways, and that’s the issue that the president needs to address straight up with the American people. How are we going to win this struggle with Russia without attacking their oil and gas?
“Final point: I know Americans are really tired of foreign entanglement, but we’ve got to respond to this threat. Because, if we don’t, we’re going to wake up, and we’re going to see Russia dominant in central and eastern Europe, we’re going to see Iran dominant in the Middle East, and we’re going to see China dominant in East Asia, and it’s not going to be a safe place for America.”
. . .
“Name two countries who don’t give a damn about reducing CO2 emissions: Russia and China. Name other people in parts of the world that do care about reducing CO2 emissions: The West, Europe, the United States of America, John Kennedy—I care.
“The reduction of CO2 emissions is an important policy. So is national security. And what Russia and China have done here—they have taken advantage of the effort to reduce CO2 emissions, which, to the Biden administration, means a frontal assault on oil and gas.”
. . .
“I need you to ask my friend Secretary Yellen a question. We just gave Putin $18 billion in special drawing rights. Secretary Yellen said, ‘Oh, we’ve got to issue these special drawing rights—make the IMF do it—these gift cards.’ . . . She didn’t bother to explain that most of these gift cards, these special drawing rights, are going to the wealthiest countries. The small countries get the little end of nothing, and she just handed Vladimir Putin $18 billion, and we didn’t hear a word from her. And we didn’t hear a word from the IMF. You couldn’t have found them with a search party. You couldn’t have found them with Google. They just turned the money over. I’d be a little curious about that.”
Video of Kennedy’s comments is available here.
Kennedy implored the Biden administration and Treasury Secretary Yellen not to approve tens of billions of U.S. dollars to fund dictators, including Putin and Xi Jinping, last year. Nevertheless, the Biden administration approved a $650 billion IMF allocation without Congressional approval.
Kennedy’s bill, the No Dollars for Dictators Act, would have prevented that $18 billion from flowing to Putin.