Republicans Formally Investigating Biden Admin for Selling Strategic Reserve Oil to China

The Biden Administration released oil from our Strategic Petroleum Reserve to ease high gas prices —but then sold 950,000 million barrels of it to our chief international competitor, China. When I first read about it, I thought, “what in the world is going on?” Yet that’s exactly what happened, and now a group of House Republicans wants to know why.

According to the Washington Free Beacon, seven GOP members of the House, including representatives Ronny Jackson (Texas) and Ralph Norman (South Carolina), have launched a formal investigation of the administration, writing in a letter to Biden Friday:

Policies and actions by your Administration have deviated the SPR [Strategic Petroleum Reserve] off course from its original intent to provide cover for your war on domestic energy production.

It is clear that your administration wishes to use the the SPR as a stopgap for your polices—policies that that that have crippled American energy independence…

It is troubling that the United States is exporting SPR crude to China as China continues to align itself with our adversaries.

The creation of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve was authorized in 1975 by then-President Gerald Ford when he signed the Energy Policy and Conservation Act. According to the Department of Energy, the SPR is now a “complex of four sites with deep underground storage caverns created in salt domes along the Texas and Louisiana Gulf Coasts.” Those deep storage caverns are just a little less full than they used to be, though. Since Biden began tapping the SPR, the reserves have fallen below 500 million barrels, the lowest level since 1986.

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Here’s Joe crowing about his achievement of prices supposedly dropping half a dollar:

I’ve been releasing about 1 million barrels of oil a day from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and rallied our global partners to release a combined 240 million barrels of oil onto the market.

Our actions are working, and prices are coming down.

— President Biden (@POTUS) July 19, 2022

I wish he could explain how selling our oil to Communist China helps ease prices at American gas pumps. The seven House Members members want to know, too. Rep. Jackson told the Free Beacon:

The American people can’t afford to put gas in their tanks and our Strategic Petroleum Reserve is at its lowest level in decades, yet Joe Biden is wasting our money and resources by sending oil that’s intended for emergencies to the Chinese Communist Party. Helping our adversaries and setting America up for failure in the event of a major disaster or national security threat is no way for an American president to govern. Taxpayers deserve better.

They are asking for the White House to turn over a “trove” of documents regarding the decision-making process behind the China sales, while demanding to know if there have been any other sales of the SPR oil to other “foreign adversaries.”

The White House shot back Friday, with spokesman Ian Sams telling Fox News that Biden had “no personal involvement” in the sales. I have a feeling one could say that about a lot of White House decisions. Sams continued:

Some Republican members of Congress are suggesting that the president and the Biden administration are funneling oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to specific foreign companies for nefarious reasons. This accusation is ridiculous and false, and if they took the initiative to examine some basic facts, they would see that.

Note the parsing of his words, though. At first, it seems as if he’s saying that these sales never happened—but that’s not what he’s saying at all. He’s not denying that the sales happened, he’s just saying the Administration didn’t make them for “nefarious purposes.” Smooth. He then complained that the Administration’s hands were tied:

Sams explained that when oil is released from the SPR, the U.S. Department of Energy is “required by law to sell it ‘in a competitive auction to the highest bidder,’ regardless of whether that bidder is a foreign company.”

“This independent process has been consistent across administrations,” Sams said, adding that the Trump administration also sold crude oil from the SPR through this “competitive bidding process.”

Three problems with this:

  1. If the law states that the Energy Department is required to sell it at auction to the highest bidder, then why release it all since it won’t help us?
  2. When Trump sold oil to China, gas was far cheaper than it is today, and…
  3. House Democrats just voted down a proposal to ban the sale of our Strategic Reserve to our enemies. As the head of the party, I’m sure Joe could have changed that outcome if he cared.

House Democrats Block Legislative Amendment To Prevent US Oil Sales To China

— zerohedge (@zerohedge) July 22, 2022

Also, doesn’t Biden sign an executive order for just about everything? I’m not a lawyer, but it seems to me that he could have demanded that the oil be used only in the U.S.

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It’s absolutely insane that during a period of wild inflation and ridiculous gas prices we would be selling our precious reserves to China. Hopefully, these GOP congressmen can get to the bottom of the matter, and make sure this doesn’t happen again.


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