As Russia continues its advance within the sovereign territory of Ukraine, U.S. Rep. Gary Palmer (R-Hoover) is questioning the Biden administration's approach to energy, which according to some, has emboldened Russian President Vladimir Putin.

During an interview with Mobile radio FM Talk 106.5's "The Jeff Poor Show," Palmer said he believed the United States could have taken the proper steps to eliminate the country's reliance on Russian oil imports.

"Putin factored the sanctions into his plans for invading Ukraine," Palmer said. "And we helped him. Like I said, first week in office, he [Biden] starts shutting down U.S. energy. The Keystone Pipeline would probably be less than six months within completion right now. That would have brought over 800,000 barrels of Canadian oil in the U.S. every day. Instead, we're buying 600,000 barrels of Russian oil."

Palmer alluded to the Biden administration opting the United States out of the EastMed pipeline deal, a partnership that included Greece, Israel and Cyprus that could have lessened Europe's reliance on Russian natural gas.

The Jefferson County Republican congressman speculated it was a decision motivated by so-called climate change concerns.

"This is insanity," Palmer said. "And it's all being driven, I think, by climate change people, who that's become a religion for. And I don't discount the fact that the climate is changing but we're on the verge of World War III. You've got John Kerry out there worried about whether Putin will honor his obligations on emissions control. I don't know how more out of touch you can be."

To connect with the author of this story, or to comment, email