On Wednesday, a bipartisan group of legislators led by West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin and Texas Republican Ted Cruz introduced a bill called the Protecting America’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve from China Act, which would prevent the sale of any more barrels of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve(SPR) to China by President Joe Biden.
In a press release, Mancin remarked that for both energy independence and national defense, the United States relies heavily on its Strategic Petroleum Reserve. The reserve has been utilized as a policy band-aid to deal with rising gas prices and the worldwide upheaval generated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Still, its primary purpose is to aid the United States and its allies in times of need, not to provide energy for China’s economy.
The importance of maintaining America’s energy independence and security was further emphasized by Manchin, who stated that this law would ensure that the country is not endangering the energy security of the United States by selling petroleum reserves to China.
Fox reported in September of 2021 that Biden had begun selling oil from SPR, including two million barrels, to Unipec, an arm of the state-controlled China Petrochemical Corporation. Communist China now has more oil than the United States, thanks to Biden’s sales.
Fifteen Republican senators, three Democratic senators, and two Independent senators, Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona and Angus King of Maine, voted in favor of the Protecting America’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve from China Act.
In January, a similar bill received 331 yes votes and 91 no votes in the House of Representatives.
Rep. Ted Cruz issued the following statement: In an emergency, the Strategic Petroleum Reserve ensures that the United States of America has enough oil. No sale of this stockpile to the Chinese Communist Party or any entity controlled by it is permissible under any circumstances.
Cruz said he was happy to work with his colleagues and Sen. Joe Manchin on this critical, nonpartisan issue. Cruz said they needed to act swiftly to prevent this from occurring and release American energy to China.
Members of the Senate who have signed on as sponsors include:
- Chairman Joe Manchin (D-WV),
- Ted Cruz (R TX)
- Angus King (I-ME)
- Maggie Hassan (D-NH)
- Dan Sullivan (R-AK)
- Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS)
- Tommy Tuberville (R-AL)
- John Hoeven (R-ND)
- Michael Bennet (D-CO),
- Tom Cotton (R-AR)
- John Boozman (R-AR)
- Mike Braun (R-IN)