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Remarks: Joe Biden Announces Oil and Gas Sanctions Against Russia - March 8, 2022

  • Joe Biden
    Person
  • Question
    Person
Unknown

Joe Biden

Unknown
00:00:00-00:00:04 (5 sec)
Good morning, folks. Sorry to keep you waiting. I was on a couple of phone calls. 1

Joe Biden

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00:00:04-00:00:10 (6 sec)
Today I'm announcing the United States is targeting the main artery of Russia's economy. 2

Joe Biden

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00:00:10-00:00:15 (4 sec)
We're banning all imports of Russian oil and gas and energy. 3

Joe Biden

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00:00:15-00:00:24 (9 sec)
That means Russian oil will no longer be acceptable at U.S. ports, and the American people will deal another powerful blow to Putin's war machine. 4

Joe Biden

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00:00:24-00:00:29 (6 sec)
This is a move that has strong bipartisan support in the Congress and, I believe, in the country. 5

Joe Biden

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00:00:29-00:00:38 (8 sec)
Americans have rallied support -- have rallied to support the Ukrainian people and made it clear we will not be part of subsidizing Putin's war. 6

Joe Biden

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00:00:38-00:00:56 (18 sec)
This made -- we made this decision in close consultation with our Allies and our partners around the world, particularly in Europe, because a united response to Putin's aggression has been my overriding focus, to keep all NATO and all of the EU and our allies totally united. 7

Joe Biden

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00:00:56-00:01:03 (7 sec)
We're moving forward on this ban, understanding that many of our European Allies and partners may not be in a position to join us. 8

Joe Biden

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00:01:03-00:01:16 (13 sec)
The United States produces far more oil domestically than all of European -- all the European countries combined. In fact, we're a net exporter of energy. So we can take this step when others cannot. 9

Joe Biden

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00:01:16-00:01:25 (9 sec)
But we're working closely with Europe and our partners to develop a long-term strategy to reduce their dependence on Russian energy as well. 10

Joe Biden

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00:01:25-00:01:37 (12 sec)
Our teams are actively discussing how to make this happen. And today, we remain united -- we remain united in our purpose to keep pressure mounting on Putin and his war machine. 11

Joe Biden

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00:01:37-00:01:55 (18 sec)
This is a step that we're taking to inflict further pain on Putin. But there will be costs as well here in the United States. I said I would level with the American people from the beginning. And when I first spoke to this, I said defending freedom is going to cost -- it's going to cost us as well, in the United States. 12

Joe Biden

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00:01:55-00:02:03 (8 sec)
Republicans and Democrats understand -- alike understand that. Republicans and Democrats alike have been clear that we must do this. 13

Joe Biden

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00:02:03-00:02:18 (15 sec)
Over the last week, I've spoken with President Zelenskyy several times to hear from him about the situation on the ground and to consult and continuing to consult with our European allies and -- about U.S. support for Ukraine and the Ukrainian people. 14

Joe Biden

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00:02:18-00:02:41 (23 sec)
Thus far, we've provided more than $1 billion in security assistance to Ukraine. Shipments of defensive weapons are arriving in Ukraine every day from the United States. And we, the United States, are the ones coordinating the delivery of our Allies and partners of similar weapons, from Germany to Finland to the Netherlands. We're accom- -- we're -- we're working that out. 15

Joe Biden

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00:02:41-00:02:49 (9 sec)
We're also providing humanitarian support for the Ukrainian people, both those still in Ukraine and those who have fled safely to a neighboring country. 16

Joe Biden

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00:02:49-00:03:00 (10 sec)
We're working with humanitarian organizations to surge tens of thousands of tons of food, water, and medical supplies into Ukraine, and with more on the way. 17

Joe Biden

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00:03:00-00:03:12 (12 sec)
Over the weekend, I sent Secretary Blinken to visit our border between -- the border Poland and Ukraine and to Moldova to see what the situation was firsthand and report back. 18

Joe Biden

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00:03:12-00:03:33 (21 sec)
General Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of our Defense Department, is also -- was also in Europe, meeting with his counterparts and Allies on NATO's eastern flank to reassure them -- those countries bordering Russia, NATO countries -- that we will keep our NATO commitment -- a sacred commitment to Article -- of Article 5. 19

Joe Biden

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00:03:33-00:03:39 (6 sec)
The Vice President Harris is going to be traveling to meet with our allies in Poland and Romania later this week as well. 20

Joe Biden

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00:03:39-00:03:51 (12 sec)
I've made it clear that the United States will share in the responsibility of caring for the refugees so the costs do not fall entirely on the European countries bordering Ukraine. 21

Joe Biden

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00:03:51-00:04:05 (14 sec)
And yesterday I spoke with my counterparts from France, Germany, and the United Kingdom about Russia's escalating violence against Ukraine and the steps that we're going to take together with our Allies and partners around the world to respond to this aggression. 22

Joe Biden

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00:04:05-00:04:14 (9 sec)
We are enforcing the most significant package of economic sanctions in history, and it's causing significant damage to Russia's economy. 23

Joe Biden

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00:04:14-00:04:31 (17 sec)
It has caused the Russian economy to, quite frankly, crater. The Russian ruble is now down to 50 percent -- by 50 percent since Putin announced his war. One ruble is now worth less than one American penny. One ruble is less than one American penny. 24

Joe Biden

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00:04:31-00:04:39 (8 sec)
And preventing Russia's Central Bank from propping up the ruble and to keep its value up. They're not going to be able to do that now. 25

Joe Biden

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00:04:39-00:04:47 (8 sec)
We cut Russia's largest banks from the international financial system, and it's crippled their ability to do business with the rest of the world. 26

Joe Biden

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00:04:47-00:04:59 (13 sec)
In addition, we're choking off Russia's access to technology, like semiconductors that are -- and sap its economic strength and weaken its military for years to come. 27

Joe Biden

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00:04:59-00:05:12 (13 sec)
Major companies are pulling out of Russia entirely, without even being asked -- not by us. Over the weekend, Visa, Mastercard, American Express -- they all suspended their services in Russia. All of them. 28

Joe Biden

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00:05:12-00:05:21 (9 sec)
Joining a growing list of American and global companies from Ford to Nike to Apple, they've suspended their operations in Russia. 29

Joe Biden

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00:05:21-00:05:30 (9 sec)
The U.S. stock exchange has halted trading of many Russian securities. And the private sector is standing united against Russia's vicious war of choice. 30

Joe Biden

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00:05:30-00:05:37 (7 sec)
The U.S. Department of Justice has assembled a dedicated task force to go after Russian -- the crimes of Russian oligarchs. 31

Joe Biden

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00:05:37-00:05:50 (13 sec)
And we're joining with our European allies to find and seize their yachts, their luxury apartments, their private jets, and all their ill-begotten gains to make sure they share in the pain of Putin's war. 32

Joe Biden

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00:05:50-00:06:01 (11 sec)
These, by the way, are giant yachts. You put some of them in your press. I mean, some of them are -- I think I read one was over 400 feet long. I mean, it's -- this is worth hundreds of millions of dollars. 33

Joe Biden

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00:06:01-00:06:08 (7 sec)
The decision today is not without cost here at home. Putin's war is already hurting American families at the gas pump. 34

Joe Biden

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00:06:08-00:06:20 (12 sec)
Since Putin began his military buildup on Ukrainian borders, just since then, the price of the gas at the pump in America went up 75 cents. And with this action, it's going to go up further. 35

Joe Biden

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00:06:20-00:06:37 (17 sec)
I'm going to do everything I can to minimize Putin's price hike here at home. In coordination with our partners, we've already announced that we're releasing 60 million barrels of oil from our joint oil reserves. Half of that -- 30 billion -- million -- excuse me -- is coming from the United States. 36

Joe Biden

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00:06:37-00:06:41 (4 sec)
And we're taking steps to ensure the reliable supply of global energy. 37

Joe Biden

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00:06:41-00:06:48 (7 sec)
And we're also going to keep working with every tool at our disposal to protect American families and businesses. 38

Joe Biden

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00:06:48-00:07:17 (28 sec)
Now, let me -- let me say this. To the oil and gas companies and to the finance firms that back them: We understand Putin's war against the people of Ukraine is causing prices to rise. We get that. That's self-evident. But -- but, but, but -- it's no excuse to exercise excessive price increases or padding profits or any kind of effort to exploit this situation or Ameri- -- or American consumers -- exploit them. 39

Joe Biden

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00:07:17-00:07:23 (7 sec)
Russia's aggression is costing us all, and it's no time for profiteering or price gouging. 40

Joe Biden

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00:07:23-00:07:35 (12 sec)
I want to be clear about what we'll not tolerate, but I also want to acknowledge those firms in oil and gas industries that are pulling out of Russia and joining other businesses that are leading by example. 41

Joe Biden

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00:07:35-00:07:41 (6 sec)
This is a time when we have to do our part and make sure we're not taking -- we're not taking advantage. 42

Joe Biden

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00:07:41-00:07:54 (13 sec)
Look, let me be clear about two other points. First, it's simply not true that my administration or policies are holding back domestic energy production. That's simply not true. 43

Joe Biden

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00:07:54-00:08:03 (8 sec)
Even amid the pandemic, companies in the United States pumped more oil during my first year in office than they did during my predecessor's first year. 44

Joe Biden

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00:08:03-00:08:10 (8 sec)
We're approaching record levels of oil and gas production in the United States, and we're on track to set a record of oil production next year. 45

Joe Biden

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00:08:10-00:08:40 (29 sec)
In the United States, 90 percent of onshore oil production takes place on land that isn't owned by the federal government. And of the remaining 10 percent that occurs on federal land, the oil and gas industry has millions of acres leased. They have 9,000 permits to drill now. They could be drilling right now, yesterday, last week, last year. They have 9,000 to drill onshore that are already approved. 46

Joe Biden

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00:08:40-00:08:49 (9 sec)
So let me be clear -- let me be clear: They are not using them for production now. That's their decision. These are the facts. We should be honest about the facts. 47

Joe Biden

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00:08:49-00:08:57 (8 sec)
Second, this crisis is a stark reminder: To protect our economy over the long term, we need to become energy independent. 48

Joe Biden

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00:08:57-00:09:08 (11 sec)
I've had numerous conversations over the last three months with our European friends of how they have to wean themselves off of Russia -- Russian oil. It's just not -- it's just not tenable. 49

Joe Biden

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00:09:08-00:09:20 (13 sec)
It should motivate us to accelerate the transition to clean energy. This is a perspective, as I said, that our European allies share and the -- a future where together we can achieve greater independence. 50

Joe Biden

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00:09:20-00:09:41 (20 sec)
Loosening environmental regulations or pulling back clean energy investment won't -- let me explain -- won't -- will not lower energy prices for families. But transforming our economy to run on electric vehicles powered by clean energy with tax credits to help American families winterize their homes and use less energy, that will -- that will help. 51

Joe Biden

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00:09:41-00:09:50 (9 sec)
And if we can -- if we do what we can, it will mean that no one has to worry about the price at the gas pump in the future. 52

Joe Biden

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00:09:50-00:09:56 (6 sec)
That'll mean tyrants like Putin won't be able to use fossil fuels as weapons against other nations. 53

Joe Biden

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00:09:56-00:10:05 (9 sec)
And it will make America a world leader manufacturing and exporting clean energy technologies of the future to countries all around the world. 54

Joe Biden

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00:10:05-00:10:08 (3 sec)
This is the goal we should be racing toward. 55

Joe Biden

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00:10:08-00:10:19 (11 sec)
Over the last two weeks, the Ukrainian people have inspired the world -- and I mean that in a literal sense. They've inspired the world with their bravery, their patriotism, their defiant determination to live free. 56

Joe Biden

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00:10:19-00:10:32 (13 sec)
Putin's war -- Putin's war has caused enormous suffering and needless loss of life of women, children, everyone in Ukraine -- both Ukraine and, I might add, Russians. 57

Joe Biden

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00:10:32-00:10:46 (14 sec)
Ukrainian leaders, as well as leaders around the world, have repeatedly called for a ceasefire, for humanitarian relief, for real diplomacy. But Putin seems determined to continue on his murderous path no matter the cost. 58

Joe Biden

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00:10:46-00:10:54 (8 sec)
Putin is now targeting cities and has been targeting cities and civilians -- schools, hospitals, apartment buildings. 59

Joe Biden

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00:10:54-00:11:01 (8 sec)
Last week, he attacked the largest nuclear power plant in Europe, with an apparent disregard for the potential of triggering a nuclear meltdown. 60

Joe Biden

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00:11:01-00:11:06 (5 sec)
He has already turned 2 million Ukrainians into refugees. 61

Joe Biden

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00:11:06-00:11:16 (9 sec)
Russia may continue to grind out its advance at a horrible price, but this much is already clear: Ukraine will never be a victory for Putin. 62

Joe Biden

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00:11:16-00:11:31 (15 sec)
Putin may be able to take a city, but he'll never be able to hold the country. And if we do not respond to Putin's assault on global peace and stability today, the cost of freedom and to the American people will be even greater tomorrow. 63

Joe Biden

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00:11:31-00:11:43 (12 sec)
So we're going to continue to support the brave Ukrainian people as they fight for their country. And I call on Congress to pass the $12 billion Ukraine assistance package that I have asked them for of late. 64

Joe Biden

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00:11:43-00:11:57 (14 sec)
The Ukrainian people are demonstrating by their physical courage that they are not about to just let Putin take what he wants. That's clear. They'll defend their freedom, their democracy, their lives. 65

Joe Biden

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00:11:57-00:12:07 (10 sec)
And we're going to keep providing security assistance, economic assistance, and humanitarian assistance. We're going to support them against tyranny, oppression, violent acts of subjugation. 66

Joe Biden

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00:12:07-00:12:23 (16 sec)
People everywhere -- and I think it's maybe even surprised some of you all -- people everywhere are speaking up for freedom. And when the history of this war is written, Putin's war on Ukraine will have left Russia weaker and the rest of the world stronger. 67

Joe Biden

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00:12:23-00:12:28 (5 sec)
May God bless all those heroes of Ukraine. And now I'm off to Texas. Thank you very, very much. 68

Joe Biden

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00:12:28-00:12:28 ( sec)
[Crosstalk by reporters] 69

Joe Biden

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00:12:28-00:12:29 (1 sec)
I know there's a lot of que- -- 70

Question

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00:12:29-00:12:34 (5 sec)
Mr. President, will you cut off trade with Russia? Will you cut off trade with Russia? 71

Joe Biden

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00:12:34-00:12:51 (17 sec)
I know -- I know there's a lot of questions, but there's a lot more that has to be made clear. And I'm going to hold on that until we get more information. Thank you. Appreciate it. 72