The U.S. House of Representatives is set to vote this week on ending sales of the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserves to China, House Majority Leader Steve Scalise said in a Tweet.
The vote on the measure will take place Tuesday or Wednesday, Scalise said.
Senators James Lankford and Ted Cruz introduced a No Emergency Crude Oil for Foreign Adversaries Act over the summer—the bill would have banned the export of crude oil from the nation’s reserve stockpile to countries such as China.
“At a time of skyrocketing inflation and record gas prices, and with SPR drained to its lowest level since 1986, it is reckless and inexplicable that President Biden would allow oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to be exported to China. This practice poses a direct threat to American national security, not least of all because the Chinese Communist Party is currently stockpiling oil for strategic use, and the Biden administration is aiding their effort,” Cruz said at the time.
The current bill, known as H.R. 22, Protecting America’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve from China Act, “will prevent further direct or indirect sales and exports from our Strategic Petroleum Reserve to the Chinese Communist Party and help end Biden’s abuse of our strategic reserves.”
The current process allows for crude oil sales from the nation’s SPR to companies who make the highest offer, which includes U.S. subsidiaries of foreign oil companies, which could then export that crude oil overseas.
Some of last year’s emergency SPR sales did go to Chinese owned companies, including to Unipec America—which is wholly owned by Sinopec, China’s state-run oil company.
The practice drew criticism over the summer when domestic gasoline prices were running at uncomfortable highs, with some arguing that shipping crude oil from the SPR out of the country did little to bring down gasoline prices at home.
The last batch of SPR contracts went to Phillips 66. Marathon Petroleum Supply and Trading, Shell Trading, Valero Marketing and Supply, Macquarie Commodities Trading US, and Equinor Marketing and Trading. Deliveries were set to be complete by December 31, and concludes the 180 million barrels sell-off program that the Biden Administration announced in March 2022.
By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com
More Top Reads From Oilprice.com:
- The 10 Most Influential Figures In The History Of Oil
- The Oil Market Crisis Sparked By Russia’s Invasion Is Nearing Its End
- Europe’s Warm Winter May Not Be Such Good News For Energy