Bipartisan Group of Senators Introduce Legislation Barring Biden Admin from Selling Oil Reserves to China

From left, Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, h
AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

A bipartisan group of senators introduced legislation on Wednesday that would bar the Biden administration from selling oil from the American emergency oil reserves to China.

The group of senators, led by Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Joe Manchin (D-WV), introduced legislation to prohibit the federal government from selling oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) to China.

Additionally, under the legislation, the federal government would prohibit the selling of petroleum products from the SPR to “any entity that is under the ownership or control of the Chinese Communist Party or the People’s Republic of China” and would only allow drawing down the United States’ emergency oil reserves if the products will not be “exported” to the People’s Republic of China.

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.

The legislation’s bipartisanship ultimately gives it more opportunity in the Democrat-majority Senate to pass and advance to President Biden’s desk to be signed into law, as it is similar to the Republican-majority House’s similar bill — Protecting America’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve from China Act — passed last month with large bipartisan support.

In addition to Cruz and Manchin, the 12 Republicans, two Democrats, and two Independents who cosponsored the legislation include Dan Sullivan (R-AK), Mike Braun (R-IN), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), John Boozman (R-AR), John Hoeven (R-ND), John Cornyn (R-TX), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Roger Marshall (R-KS), Rick Scott (R-FL), Mike Lee (R-UT), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Angus King (I-ME), and Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ).

Manchin emphasized in a statement “The Strategic Petroleum Reserve is a vital piece of our nation’s infrastructure that bolsters our energy and national security.” The statement went on:

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. 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.

Since Biden took office, his administration has reportedly sold at least two million barrels of oil from the reserve to Unipec, an affiliate of the state-controlled China Petrochemical Corporation, in September 2021, April 2022, and July 2022.

Fox News reported this week that Biden’s Department of Energy had released roughly 260 million barrels of oil from the SPR since taking office in January 2021. Additionally, noting that the current level is around 40 percent lower than it was at the level recorded days before Biden’s first major release in November 2021 and that the SPR’s level is at the lowest level it has been since 1983.

Jacob Bliss is a reporter for Breitbart News. Write to him at or follow him on Twitter @JacobMBliss.


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