Congressional Update: Russian Oil Ban; 2022 Budget; EV Charging Infrastructure
Last week, as Russian aggression in Ukraine increased, President Biden announced a ban on imports of Russian oil, gas, and coal.
In remarks to the country, President Biden said the White House knows that this will likely raise gas prices, blamed Russia for the increase, and committed to doing everything to reduce this trend, mentioning again that the US and allies will release a combined 60 million barrels of oil from strategic reserves.
EMA’s lobbyists participated in a call with the White House shortly after President Biden’s announcement, where senior Administration officials noted that the ban has broad bipartisan support and will deprive Russian President Vladimir Putin of vital resources.
The White House reiterated commitments to lowering the price of oil.
In Congress, the House almost unanimously passed a ban on Russian energy imports.
FY 2022 Budget
The House also passed an FY 2022 government funding package with supplemental funding for Ukraine.
The package also includes language that would allow the FDA to regulate synthetic nicotine. The Senate passed the measure with overwhelming support late Thursday night.
As a reminder, the FY 2022 funding package is critical to ensure that programs authorized in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) can be fully funded.
Also last week, the House Energy and Commerce Committee held a hearing on EV charging infrastructure, where private sector companies, including Ford Motor Company, stressed the need for increased government support.
Republicans were weary of additional EV subsidies, and generally argued that the Committee should be focused on increasing American energy production in the wake of price rises.
Republicans also voiced concerns of the efficiency of EVs and noted supply chain challenges for critical battery materials.
Democrats broadly praised the coming deployment of EV charging funding but emphasized that chargers must be in low-income and rural communities, and not just along highways.