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In wake of Russian energy ban, Northwest congressional delegation calls for focus on cleaner energy or American oil production

Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., and Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., leaders of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, meet before the start of a hearing on Capitol Hill in 2017.
J. Scott Applewhite/AP
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Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., and Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., leaders of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, meet before the start of a hearing on Capitol Hill.

Members of the Inland Northwest’s Congressional delegation say they support President Biden’s move to ban importing Russian oil, and other sources of energy, but they differ on what to do next.

Senator Patty Murray says she is exploring Congressional action to ensure private companies don’t use Russia’s invasion as an excuse to raise prices.

“Big oil executives should not be raking in extra cash while Washington state families are paying more at the pump to stand up for democracy and support the Ukrainian people,” Murray said.

Senator Maria Cantwell in a tweet Tuesday, said she’s hopeful the move away from Russian energy will accelerate development of cleaner alternatives.

In a tweet Tuesday, Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers called on the Biden administration not only to cut Russian imports, but to boost American oil production in response. In a tweet today, she asked the House Commerce Committee to hold a hearing on the issue.

Idaho’s two Senators, Mike Crapo and Jim Risch, have also continued to call for a focus on America’s energy production.