SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — South Dakota Sen. John Thune and Brian Bengs of Aberdeen, his Democratic challenger, are sharing their views on possible action toward Russia following that country’s invasion of Ukraine.
“That’s the thing I think that we need to do right now, is try and get cooperation from, collaboration with, our NATO allies and other countries around the world that buy Russian oil and just say, shut it down and let’s figure out ways to replace and make up the difference,” Thune said. “And that means that other areas of the world are going to have to pick up the slack, and one of those should be United States.”
“Would it hit them harder if we took action by eliminating the imports of their oil and gas, yes it would,” Bengs said. “Do we have a patriotic duty to do that? Well, you could make a fair argument that we do, that it would be more American for us to do something like that, so I would support that action.”
White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Friday said the White House is looking at ways “to cut U.S. consumption of Russian energy.”
“I think every dollar that the West spends on oil is a dollar that funds Putin’s war, and we don’t want to fund his war,” Thune said.
“Energy independence has been a theme for decades now,” Bengs said. “It’s time that we got serious with it and addressed what it could be. The time is right given the proliferation of solar and wind and all the other clean energy capacities that are coming into bloom now.”