As many of Joe Biden’s critics have noted, the U.S. could send a very clear message to Russia by focusing on domestic energy independence. Russia has a lot less power on the global stage if countries don’t depend on them for oil.

Fox Business’ Maria Bartiromo recently made a similar point on “Jesse Watters Primetime.”

From PolitiFact:

During an appearance on “Jesse Watters Primetime,” Fox Business Network host Maria Bartiromo explained how brewing conflict between the U.S. and Russia could affect American consumers.

Bartiromo said that U.S. dependency on Russian oil imports would cause gasoline prices to continue rising.

The United States is “reliant on Russian oil. We have doubled our imports from Russia in the last year,” Bartiromo said on Feb. 22. “No question why President Biden is begging OPEC and others to pump more oil.”

Well, thank goodness for PolitiFact! If not for them, Bartiromo might’ve been allowed to get away with … not lying?

PolitiFact has ultimately determined that Maria Bartiromo’s statements are “Mostly False.” Because they’re evidently more determined to make Bartiromo and Fox look dishonest than they are to be honest about what Bartiromo said.

One could certainly be forgiven for thinking so:

Bartiromo said the U.S. doubled its oil imports “from Russia in the last year.”

The latest data from the EIA doesn’t back her up. The U.S. increased its Russian oil imports by about 28% last year. That’s a notable increase, but it’s not double.

Bartiromo has more of a point when looking at only crude oil imported from Russia in 2021, which has more than doubled. But Russia accounted for about 3% of overall U.S. crude oil imports in 2021 — a 2 percentage point increase from 2020.

We rate this claim Mostly False.

PolitiFact is counting on readers to get too caught up in the semantics to realize what’s going on.

***

Update:

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