The Hill

Bipartisan senators push bill aimed at restricting oil reserve sales to China

By Rachel Frazin

A bipartisan group of senators are introducing a bill aimed at limiting the sales of oil from the country’s emergency supply to entities controlled by China. 

The bill was put forward Wednesday and spearheaded by Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas). 

Under the legislation, companies under the ownership or control of the Chinese government or its Communist Party will not be able to purchase oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, unless they sell the fuel outside of China. 

The proposal was also backed by a wide bipartisan group of senators, including  Sens. Angus King (I-Maine), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), Mike Braun (R-Indiana), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Jerry Moran (R-Kansas), Roger Marshall (R-Kansas), Rick Scott (R-Fla.),  Mike Lee (R-Utah), Kyrsten Sinema (I-Ariz.) and Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.). 

“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,” Manchin said in a statement.

Similar legislation also passed the House last month with bipartisan support. The effort was one of two bills taken up by the House’s Republican majority aimed at restricting such drawdowns.

President Biden last year announced the largest-ever withdrawal from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve as part of an effort to combat high gasoline prices. 

However, as the oil market is global, analysts have said they were expected to have the same impact on the U.S. wherever in the world they ended up.