The White House is trying to downplay the fact that 113 Democrats in the House of Representatives joined Republicans to ban sales of oil from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve to China. This is yet another example of Democrats putting their own interests ahead of the American people.
The legislation, titled “Protecting America’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve from China Act,” passed in a landslide vote of 331-97 but now has to face a Democrat-led Senate.
The bill prohibits the Department of Energy (DOE) from selling petroleum products (e.g., crude oil) from the SPR to any entity that is under the ownership, control, or influence of the Chinese Communist Party.
Republican leaders on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, led by Ranking Member John Barrasso, R-Wyo., introduced companion bills of House legislation targeting President Biden’s use of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR).
The first bill, the Secure Auction for Energy Reserves Act which Barrasso introduced with Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, would prohibit the federal government from selling SPR stocks to China and other countries of particular concern.
“China is profiting from President Biden’s political abuse of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve,” the senator said. “Meanwhile, America has become more vulnerable to true energy and national security emergencies.”
“Our legislation will ban SPR sales to China and other hostile nations,” he said. “It will also ban SPR sales to state-owned companies which purchase oil from Russia, Iran, and other nations the U.S. has sanctioned. Adversaries cannot be allowed to benefit from America’s security reserve.”
Sen. Collins said that it is “inexcusable that our emergency stockpile of crude oil is being sold to dictators overseas.”
Another piece of legislation that was introduced in the Senate on Tuesday, the “Strategic Production Response Act,” would only allow the Strategic Petroleum Reserves to be tapped by the Department of Energy only when there is a severe interruption to the supply and only after the Interior Department issues a plan to increase oil and gas production in the United States on federal lands and waters.
“America is stronger and safer when we are energy independent,” Sen. Barrasso said. “The Biden administration agenda is to choke off energy development on federal land. Our legislation will prevent President Biden from raiding the SPR for political purposes without boosting American oil production.”
“It’s time to work together to lower prices for Wyoming families, unleash American energy, and strengthen our national security,” he said.
This bill is companion legislation to a bill with the same name introduced in the House by Energy and Commerce Committee Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., and which is slated for a floor vote this week.
However, Democrats and the White House have taken aim at the House bill, saying it would lead to higher prices. But it’s clear that the Democrats are only interested in putting their own interests ahead of the American people and this bill is a clear example of that.