On Jan. 27, the Republican-led U.S. House of Representatives passed an amendment to bill H.R. 21, tabled by congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), intended to prevent the Biden administration, and any other future presidential administration, from exploiting America’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) for political gain and to prevent American oil from being sold to China.
Bill H.R. 21 is intended to limit “the drawdown of petroleum in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve until the Department of Energy develops a plan to increase the percentage of federal lands leased for oil and gas production.”
Celebrating the win, Greene said on Twitter, “Just now, the House passed my amendment to HR 21 to stop Joe Biden from selling our oil to China to score political points. He will no longer be able to trick and deceive the American people by doing business with our enemies.”
Addressing the House prior to the amendment being passed, Greene said, “I am introducing a new amendment that would prevent President Biden, or any president, from selling our strategic oil reserves for political reasons. The American people don’t believe president Biden should have the sole authority to sell our oil for whatever reason he comes up with,” further arguing that the presidents “war on American energy” has crippled the country and left it vulnerable to “economic and national security risks.”
“There’s no reason the president should be able to sell one of our most strategic resources for political gain. Instead the president should unleash American energy at home,” she said.
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Last year, the Biden administration released 180 million barrels of oil from the SPR in an attempt to lower gas prices ahead of the midterm elections with much of that oil being purchased by China.
“China – already the world’s top oil importer – seized the opportunity to secure additional barrels of oil on the market at a time when its supply of oil from Russia was at risk of drying up due to intensifying Western sanctions against Moscow,” a recent piece by Forbes said.
The SPR has a capacity for around 700 million barrels and current stock is approximately 372 million barrels, down 594 million barrels, or almost 40 percent from the year prior.
The SPR was originally established in order to protect the U.S. from oil shortages and price spikes due to supply disruptions.
“Biden’s historic drawdown for political reasons sacrificed national energy security at a time when Russia’s war with Ukraine could have induced just that sort of supply emergency,” per Forbes.
The amendment now has to pass the majority-Democrat Senate and not be vetoed by President Biden to become law.