On Tuesday President Joe Biden addressed the world, announcing sanctions against Russia. While he said his administration would try to keep gas prices from skyrocketing, Americans need to be “honest” about sacrifices.
“As we respond, my administration is using every tool at our disposal to protect American businesses and consumers from rising prices at the pump,” he said. “As I said last week, defending freedom will have costs for us as well, here at home. We need to be honest about that.”
The Los Angeles Times reports that gas prices are “higher than ever” and there doesn’t appear to be an end in sight as the U.S. and Russia begin to spar over Ukraine. According to the American Automobile Association, a gallon of regular gas across California hit a record high of $4.742 on Tuesday.
Tuesday’s average of $4.742 is 3 cents higher than just last week’s average, 10 cents higher than last month’s average, and well over the $3.573 average a year ago. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Russia is the world’s third-largest producer of petroleum and other crude oil.
The threat of military conflict between Russia and Ukraine lead some to fear Russia will cut off natural gas exports after the sanctions imposed by the United States and Europe. The Los Angeles Times reports:
California doesn’t import any oil from Russia. As of 2020, the state brought in 24% of its oil from Ecuador, 23% from Saudi Arabia and 20% from Iraq, according to the California Energy Commission.
Still, the absence of a major exporter such as Russia would increase global demand for oil from other countries, which could affect the retail price in California. The state has become increasingly dependent on oil imports as it attempts to move away from fracking, making it increasingly vulnerable to external price swings.
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Trump: Tanks to Ukraine could escalate to use of ‘NUKES’
Former President Donald Trump stated bluntly on Truth Social, “FIRST COME THE TANKS, THEN COME THE NUKES. Get this crazy war ended, NOW. So easy to do!”
Trump was referring to the escalation of war in Ukraine. He, like many other commentators and lawmakers, are warning that the decision to continue sending weapons – and now tanks – could potentially lead to the use of “nuclear weapons.”
It’s mission creep and it’s dangerous, they say.
Why? Because Russian President Valdimir Putin has indicated in two different speeches that he would use nuclear weapons to defend Russia, if needed. Those warnings are not just bluster but a very real possibility.
And the escalation of war is visible.
Russia launched 55 missiles strikes across Ukraine Thursday, leaving 11 dead. The strikes come one day after the United States and Germany agreed to send tanks to Ukraine in an effort to aide the country. 47 of the 55 missiles were shot down according to Ukraine’s Air Force command.
Eleven lives were lost and another 11 were injured additionally leaving 35 buildings damaged in the wake of the attacks. According to The New York Times, Denys Shmyhal, said in a post on Telegram. “The main goal is energy facilities, providing Ukrainians with light and heat,” he said.
Ukraine is now demanding that they need F-16 fighter jets. In a post on twitter Ukrainian lawmaker, Oleksiy Goncharenko said, “Missiles again over Ukraine. We need F16.”
Morning. Missiles again over Ukraine. We need F16.
— Oleksiy Goncharenko (@GoncharenkoUa) January 26, 2023
The US has abstained from sending advanced jets in the chances that a volatile decision could foster more dangerous attacks like former President Trump’s post on Truth referred to. If the US did authorize the decision to lend Ukraine the F-16 jets Netherlands’ foreign minister, Wopke Hoekstra, would be willing to supply them. According to The New York Times, Hoekstra told Dutch lawmakers, “We are open-minded… There are no taboos.”
F-16 fighter jets are complex to work on, they are not the average aircraft that can be learned in a matter of weeks. It can take months for pilots to learn how to fly these birds. European and US officials have the concern that Ukrainian forces could potentially use the jets to fly into Russian airspace and launch attacks on Russian soil.
Western allies are trying to avoid such a provocation, because that could lead to nuclear warfare in reference to what Putin has said he would do to defend his country.
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