The US House of Representatives on Thursday passed a resolution banning the sale of oil from the United States’ Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) to China as the stockpile reaches historic lows. The House passed the Protecting America’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve from China Act along bipartisan lines in a vote of 331-97, The Hill newspaper reported. The report said 113 Democrats joined all Republicans who voted in passing the measure.
“More than 100 House Democrats just voted with Republicans to pass a bill banning Biden’s sales of America’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve to China. Will Senate Democrats and Biden block this overwhelmingly bipartisan legislation?” House Majority Leader Steve Scalise asked in a tweet. The legislation bans the sale of petroleum products from the reserve to any entity under the ownership, control or influence of the Chinese Communist Party, except on the condition that the products will not be exported to China, according to the bill text.
“Over the past two years, President (Joe]) Biden has drained our Strategic Petroleum Reserve to distract from his war on American energy, weakening our economic and national security,” Steve Scalise said in a statement on the bill. “Worse still, the Biden administration sold oil from our strategic reserves to the Chinese Communist Party, which now has the largest government-controlled reserve of oil in the world,” he added.
The US Strategic Petroleum Reserve is at its lowest level since 1983, Scalise noted. He added that the US cannot allow the Biden administration to bolster China’s national security at its own expense. The US Energy Department has drawn more than 200 million barrels from the strategic reserve since November 2021 by order of Biden in an effort to stabilize energy market supplies and prices. Meanwhile, the Biden administration has defended its use of the SPR.
“The Biden administration, like administrations of both parties have historically done, rightly authorized emergency use of the SPR mission to address supply disruptions -providing relief to American families and refineries when needed the most. Treasury estimated that the Biden administration’s releases reduced prices at the pump by up to USD 0.40/gallon,” the Energy Department recently told The Hill in an emailed statement. (ANI)