Dear Congress (118th),
We are Ukrainian, British and European NGOs, and we are calling on Congress to close the refining loophole, which allows for Russian oil to be laundered and flow into the United States, preserving both Russian exports and Russian export revenues.
Since March 2022, the United States has prohibited the direct import of Russian oil. But thanks to this loophole, Russian oil continues to flow into the United States, primarily via India.
It’s time for US policy to align with the stated aims of that original oil embargo proposed by President Biden in March 2022, which aimed to “mitigate the pain American families feel at the pump and reduce our dependence on foreign oil and fossil fuels’’.
The US should ban imports of refined products from refineries running on Russian crude.
This policy should cover any refinery that has imported Russian crude oil in the last 6 months.
Because the amounts concerned are marginal for the United States, experts agree this policy is unlikely to have any impact on gas prices – but it will reduce demand for Russian oil & provide incentives for refineries to move away from Russian crude, should they wish to export to the United States.
As long as Russian oil – even if it is refined elsewhere– is being bought by western governments, then these governments are continuing to line Putin’s pockets and ultimately remain complicit in Russia’s war of aggression in Ukraine.
Closing this loophole is a common-sense call for the United States that will dent Russia’s ability to wage war at no cost to American taxpayers.
Now is the time for action, not just words.
- Razom We Stand (Ukraine)
- Business 4 Ukraine (Ukraine)
- DiXi Group (Ukraine)
- Center for Environmental Initiatives 'Ecoaction' (Ukraine
- Ecoclub Rivne (Ukraine)
- Energy Transition Coalition (Ukraine)
- Global Witness (United Kingdom)
- Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air (Finland)