House votes to BAN President Biden from selling America’s emergency oil supplies to China

House votes to BAN President Biden from selling America’s emergency oil supplies to China

  • All Republicans voted for the bill and 113 Democrats joined them 
  • Biden tapped the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) for 200 million barrels of oil after Russia’s war on Ukraine sent fuel prices skyrocketing
  • Democratic Rep. Chrissy Houlahan said the bill doesn’t go far enough because it doesn’t ban sales to the rest of America’s adversaries  

The House on Thursday voted to pass a bill to ban President Biden from tapping the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to sell U.S. oil to China

On the Democratic side 113 members vote for the the bill, joining all Republicans.  

The bill became a first-week priority for Republicans after reports that Chinese buyers purchased oil during the record-breaking drawdown of the U.S’s emergency oil supply, at a time when gas prices peaked at $5 a gallon. 

Biden tapped the reserve for 200 million barrels of oil after Russia‘s war on Ukraine sent fuel prices skyrocketing. 

Republicans criticized the move and blamed the president for discouraging domestic oil production. They were irate at reports that the Biden administration in July sold nearly a million barrels to a state-owned Chinese firm which Hunter Biden’s private equity firm held a $1.7 billion stake, reports say.

At the same time it emerged five million barrels of oil have been sent abroad, after the White House claimed releasing them would help ease Americans’ pain at the pump.

President Biden

Chinese President Xi Jinping

The House on Thursday voted to pass a bill to ban President Biden from tapping the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to sell U.S. oil to China

The bill became a first-week priority for Republicans after reports that Chinese buyers purchased oil during the record-breaking drawdown of the U.S's emergency oil supply, at a time when gas prices peaked at $5 a gallon.

The bill became a first-week priority for Republicans after reports that Chinese buyers purchased oil during the record-breaking drawdown of the U.S’s emergency oil supply, at a time when gas prices peaked at $5 a gallon.

Curbing Chinese competition has been a rare bipartisan priority of the first week of the new Congress – a bill to establish a select committee to investigate strategic competition between the U.S. and China garnered all Republican and 160 Democrat votes. 

Other bills, such as one to claw back $72 billion from the IRS and an abortion restriction bill, have passed down party line with critics deeming them Republican ‘messaging’ bills. 

Reuters reported in July that SPR oil was going to China, India, Italy, and the Netherlands. In some cases U.S. companies, including Phillips 66, bought the reserve’s oil then sold it to China.

The SPR stock is now at 372 million barrels, down from 594 million one year ago.  

Republicans in both chambers introduced legislation to ban selling Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) supply to China. The idea has even attracted the support of some Democrats – Rep. Chrissy Houlahan introduced legislation alongside other Republicans over the summer that would ban sales to China, North Korea, Russia, Iran, and other countries under U.S. sanctions.

Houlahan wrote in an op-ed that she was ‘glad’ the House would take up legislation to ban sales to China but believed it was a ‘missed opportunity’ not to extend the ban to other nations. 

She said she understood the ‘political points’ that might be won by focusing the bill on China but argued that her bill had a ‘better chance’ of passing both chambers given that it was more similar to legislation introduced in the Senate by Ted Cruz and John Kennedy, R-La. 

The 950,000 barrels offered to China over the summer were sold to Unipec, the trading arm of the China Petrochemical Corporation – better known as Sinopec.

Sinopec is also tied to the private equity firm BHR Partners – which Hunter co-founded in 2013.

In 2015, BHR bought a $1.7 billion stake in Sinopec, The Federalist reported.

Democratic Rep. Don Beyer, Va., said it was the fault of Republicans that the oil exports were possible in the first place. 

‘Today House Republicans have us voting on a bill to block oil exports from the SPR. They are very exercised- lots of “Biden selling us out to China,” “time to put America first,” etc. Exports of crude oil were banned for decades until 2015. You’ll never guess who lifted the ban,’ he wrote on Twitter, pointing to a 2015 tweet from Speaker Kevin McCarthy praising House Republicans for lifting the ban on all U.S. oil exports to China. 

Following an oil crisis in the early 1970s, between 1975 and 2015 the Energy Policy and Conservation Act banned nearly all exports of U.S. crude oil.

Source

Related posts