Legislation to support energy independence from Russia by enabling strong energy efficiency targets, protecting Americans from energy price spikes


Washington (March 10, 2022) – The disruptions in the oil and gas markets caused by Putin’s invasion have led to rising costs for American consumers and for our allies, underlining the need for an independent, domestic clean energy economy. In order to lessen the impact of Putin’s war on Americans, Senators Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) today introduced the Strategic reserve, Appliance, Vehicle, and Energy efficiency for Consumers Act - or the SAVE Consumers Act - which would provide short-term relief to the American people as the United States works to impose a necessary ban on all oil imports from Russia and would restore the President’s ability to set energy efficiency targets for states during an energy supply emergency. Such measures could include improved fuel economy standards for vehicles, and enhanced efficiency targets for appliances, heating, and cooling devices.


This legislation would also provide relief to Americans by advancing the direct the near-term sale of the more than 260 million barrels of oil by 2023 that are in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. The sale of these barrels has already been mandated by law and are available to be deployed for the Strategic Petroleum Reserve’s stated purpose of helping protect American consumers from economic damage due to energy supply disruption. This would create a significant financial return for the American taxpayer, guard against short-term oil price spikes, and adhere to our statutory mandates.


“By taking the necessary step to ban Russian oil imports, the United States will cut off Putin’s dirty oil piggy bank that is funding his inhumane and unjust war on the free people of Ukraine. The response to Putin’s war doesn’t have to be a sacrifice from the American people, but rather a surge of innovation,” said Senator Markey. “My SAVE Consumers Act would ensure that we provide the American people with both short-term relief through the near-term deployment of a portion of our emergency oil reserve, while simultaneously establishing long-term resiliency by allowing the President to set energy efficiency targets for states during an energy supply emergency.”


“Banning the import of Russian oil and gas, which fuels the unjustified war atrocities in Ukraine, was the right thing to do. But we need to do all we can to protect American households from the burden brought on by Vladimir Putin's global price hike on energy. That means providing short-term relief measures and setting clear targets to ramp up our production and adoption of clean, efficient, and fossil fuel-free appliances like heat pump water heaters and HVAC systems. If we want to achieve true energy independence, we need to break the cycle of fossil fuel dependence that empowers Putin,” said Senator Heinrich


A copy of the legislation can be found HERE. A copy of the one-pager can be found HERE.


On Tuesday, the White House announced a ban on Russian oil, natural gas, and coal imports.  Senator Markey was the first Senator to offer a legislative proposal to ban Russian oil when he introduced the Severing Putin’s Immense Gains from Oil Transfers (SPIGOT) Act, legislation co-sponsored by Senator Heinrich that would allow the United States to deny Russia upwards of an estimated $20 billion in revenue in 2022 and ensure that American consumers are not subsidizing Putin’s war of aggression against Ukraine, or human rights abuses in Russia.