Gas prices will get worse, Utah congressman warns

Mar 7, 2022, 4:04 PM | Updated: 4:14 pm
Gas prices in and around Salt Lake City are advertised on Monday, March 7, 2022...
Gas prices in and around Salt Lake City are advertised on Monday, March 7, 2022. (Scott G. Winterton/Deseret News)
(Scott G. Winterton/Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — Rep. John Curtis, R-Utah, is outlining his plan to bring pain to Russia for starting a war on Ukraine. But he warns gas prices are going to get worse before they get better.

AAA of Utah reported that, as of Sunday, the average price for a gallon of gas in Utah is $3.83, which was about $3.40 a week ago. But in some areas of the state, the gas prices are as high as $4.25.

In 2021, the United States imported an average of 209,000 barrels per day of crude oil and 500,000 BPD of other petroleum products from Russia, according to the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers trade association.

This represented 3% of US crude oil imports and 1% of the total crude oil processed by U.S. refineries. By contrast, the U.S. imported 61% of its crude oil from Canada, 10% from Mexico, and 6% from Saudi Arabia in the same year as reported by Aljazeera.

Curtis joined KSL NewsRadio’s Dave & Dujanovic to talk about inflicting pain through sanctions on Moscow, and banning oil and petroleum products from Russia after launching a war against its neighbor.

AAA says US drivers waste $2.1 billion on premium gasoline every year

CNN reported that gas prices increased by 11% since Feb. 23, the day before Russia began its attack on Ukraine.

“We heard from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. She had sent out a letter apparently to Democrats talking about a bill that would ban Russian imports when it comes to petroleum. Would you support a bill that bans Russian oil?” host Dave Noriega asked.

Inflict pain on warmonger Russia

“I have a bill that actually goes further than that. My bill actually does what we did in Iran before, which is it places secondary sanctions on foreign banks that engage in financial transactions with oil and gas from Russia, so it has a worldwide impact,” Curtis explained.

Curtis said Europe actually produced more natural gas than Russia did just 15 years ago.

“They said ‘Oh, it’s dirty. We’re gonna shut it down’.” he said, adding Belgium has agreed to shut down its nuclear plants.

The Belgian government has reached a deal to close seven aging nuclear reactors by 2025.

“It’s all been replaced with Russian natural gas, which just, by the way, burns 40% dirtier than U.S. natural gas if you look at their lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions,” Curtis said.

He said he is seeking to impose secondary sanctions on any foreign bank that engages in any financial transaction for the sale or purchase of petroleum or petroleum products from Russia. 

Ukrainian blood on Russian oil 

“I spoke with a Ukraine lawmaker, a former lawmaker. He looked me in the eye via Zoom and said, ‘Every ounce of Russian oil has Ukraine blood on it.’ That was staggering. That was like, hard to argue with,” Curtis said.

 “We shut down all oil and gasoline on public lands,” he said. “Not only does my bill put the secondary sanctions on, but it repeals a moratorium on oil and gas leasing on public lands and offshore waters.”

NPR reported Nov. 26, 2021:

The Biden administration on Friday recommended an overhaul of the nation’s oil and gas leasing program to limit areas available for energy development and raise costs for oil and gas companies to drill on public land and water.

The long-awaited report by the Interior Department stops short of recommending an end to oil and gas leasing on public lands, as many environmental groups have urged.

“I saw in Beverly Hills, California, a live shot that had [gasoline priced at] $6.95 a gallon. Can you give us an idea of what we need to prepare for as Americans?” Noriega asked.

“I don’t want to be the bearer of bad news, but it’s gonna get worse before it gets better,” Curtis said.

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Gas prices will get worse, Utah congressman warns