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Bay Area Residents Brace for Effects of President Biden's Ban on Russian Oil Imports

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX) -- Industry analysts warn that President Biden's ban on the import of Russian oil and gas will almost certainly drive record-breaking gas prices even higher.

"It does cost us something to impose these costs on Russia. So that is the price of war -- of economic warfare. And that's what this is. And it's a lot cheaper than putting American boots on the ground," said SJSU Economics Professor Matthew Holian.

Professor Holian says it's nearly impossible to predict how gas prices might climb. The United States imports roughly 245 million barrels of oil from Russia a year. That's eight percent of oil imports in total.

Analysts say there would be a far greater impact if the United States' allies also banned Russian oil imports, something other European countries currently appear unwilling to do.

A potential stopgap would be to increase domestic oil production and urging other countries to increase production as well. But analysts says that's a strategy with hidden costs both economic and political.

"We'll certainly see an increase in oil production in the United States. That's how it works in a capitalist society. And I think we will ask these other countries to increase their output. But they're to make their own decisions in their own interests," said Severin Borenstein, a business administration professor at UC Berkeley.

In the meantime, it might just be drivers who bear the burden of the ban.

"I think it would have been best if we did this in conjunction with something else to mitigate the pain that we feel," said Bay Area resident Eduardo Diaz.

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