EXCLUSIVE: The Republican Study Committee (RSC) Tuesday unveiled new legislation to block the United States from purchasing oil products from Iran, arguing the Biden administration needs to focus on boosting domestic energy supplies rather than funding terrorist regimes. 

The legislation, called the "No Oil From Terrorists Act," is especially timely as President Biden announced a ban on Russian oil imports to the U.S. on Tuesday amid bipartisan pressure as Russia continues its invasion of Ukraine. Meanwhile, the United States is in active negotiations in Vienna to restart the Iran nuclear deal, which former President Donald Trump pulled out of in 2018. 


The GOP members of Congress want to prevent any circumstance in which the Biden administration tries to replace the Russian oil with new imports from Iran amid rising gas prices. They say Biden should lift his executive orders that canceled the Keystone XL pipeline from Canada and froze new oil and gas leases on federal lands.

Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind., appears on Fox News. Banks introduced the "No Oil From Terrorists Act." (Credit: Fox News)

Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind., appears on Fox News. Banks introduced the "No Oil From Terrorists Act." (Credit: Fox News) ((Credit: Fox News))

"When Joe Biden crushed the American energy industry on day one of his presidency, he left Americans dependent on our foreign adversaries for oil," said Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind., and chairman of the RSC. "This sent gas prices through the roof and allowed Putin to fund his unprovoked war."

Banks continued: "To add insult to injury, the Biden administration is now considering buying oil from Iran, the world’s largest state sponsor of terror. There is absolutely no reason to import terrorist’s oil when we can drill better, cheaper, and cleaner right here at home."


The United States isn't currently buying oil from Iran. The two largest exporters of crude oil and petroleum products to the U.S. are Canada and Mexico. 

President Biden announced a ban on Russian oil imports Tuesday amid growing bipartisan pressure that the U.S. should not be sending any money to Russia that helps finance its brutal war against Ukraine. 

But Biden pushed back hard on the notion that his policies are causing problems with domestic oil and gas production, noting that 90% of onshore oil production takes place on non-federal lands. He called the high gas prices: "Putin's price hike."

"It's simply not true that my administration or policies are holding back domestic energy production," Biden said. "That's simply not true. Even amid the pandemic, companies in the United States pump more oil during my first year in office, than they did during my predecessor's first year. We're approaching record levels of oil and gas production in the United States."

Biden delivers remarks from the White House

President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the debt ceiling during an event in the State Dining Room of the White House. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

The most recent data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration show that in December, the U.S. imported 405,000 barrels per day of crude oil and petroleum products from Russia or almost 5% of all U.S. imports for the month. That's down from about 800,000 barrels in August. 


The White House was pressed Monday whether the Biden administration would be open to potential oil deals with Saudi Arabia, Venezuela and Iran, as a way to stop the rising gas prices. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki however signaled that such talk of oil purchases was premature.

But Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said last week that "all options are on the table" during a discussion about oil prices after MSNBC's Stephanie Ruhle asked if President Biden would consider "working something out with Iran."  

Meanwhile, Americans are experiencing the highest gas prices since the 2008 financial crisis, with the national gas price average reaching more than $4 per gallon – the highest average to date, according to AAA.

In this photo released by an official website of the office of the Iranian supreme leader, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei attends a meeting with Iranian officials, participants of the 31st International Islamic Unity Conference and ambassadors from Islamic countries, in Tehran, Iran, Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017. Khamenei condemned President Donald Trump's imminent recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. (Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader via AP)

Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. (Associated Press)

Banks raised concerns about the United States reentering the Iran nuclear deal and potentially lifting sanctions on Iran as a result. A lift on sanctions could allow a major state sponsor of terrorism to begin exporting oil, filling the void from Russia, Banks said. 


Instead, Biden should lift his executive orders and allow for more drilling at home, Banks says. 

The bill is co-sponsored by GOP Reps. August Pfluger of Texas, Mary Miller of Illinois, Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina, David McKinley of West Virginia, Michael Waltz of Florida, Lauren Boebert of Colorado, Jake LaTurner of Kansas, Louie Gohmert of Texas, Doug LaMalfa of California and Randy Weber of Texas. 

Fox News' Brooke Singman contributed to this report.