On Wednesday, a bipartisan team of legislators, including Democrat Senator Joe Manchin from West Virginia and GOP Senator Ted Cruz from Texas, introduced a bill that would prevent Joe Biden from selling off any more barrels of America's Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) to China called the Protecting America’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve from China Act.
Mancin said in a statement, "The Strategic Petroleum Reserve is a vital piece of our nation’s infrastructure that bolsters our energy and national security. While the reserve has been a policy Band-Aid for rising gas prices and the global unrest caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the reserve is, above all, meant to help the United States and our allies through difficult times, not to help China power its economy."
Manchin added, "This bill would ensure that we are not risking our energy security by selling our petroleum reserves to China, and the bipartisan support this legislation has received shows just how important it is for America to be energy secure and independent."
In September 2021, Biden began selling off oil from SPR and "at least two million barrels of oil from the SPR to Unipec, an affiliate of the state-controlled China Petrochemical Corporation," Fox reports. After Biden's sales, the Communist country's oil stockpiles surpassed those of the United States.
The Protecting America’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve from China Act was supported by 13 Senate Republicans, three Democrats, and two Independents, Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona and Angus King of Maine.
The House of Representatives passed a similar bill in January along a 331-91 bipartisan vote.
Ted Cruz said in a statement, "The Strategic Petroleum Reserve was intended to ensure that America had sufficient oil reserves in the event of an emergency. Under no circumstances should we sell any part of this stockpile to the Chinese Communist Party or any company under its control."
"We need to immediately act to stop this from happening in the future and unleash American energy, and I’m proud to work with my colleagues and Sen. Joe Manchin on this important, bipartisan issue," Cruz added.
The full list of sponsors are "Joe Manchin (D-WV), Chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Ted Cruz (R TX), Angus King (I-ME), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Dan Sullivan (R-AK), Mike Braun (R-IN), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), Tommy Tuberville (R-AL), John Hoeven (R-ND), John Boozman (R-AR), Joni Ernst (R-IA), John Cornyn (R-TX), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Roger Marshall (R-KS), Rick Scott (R-FL), Mike Lee (R-UT), Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ) and Mark Kelly (D-AZ)"
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