WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) this week joined U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) in introducing a bill that would prevent future strategic petroleum reserve (SPR) sales from going to China, Russia, North Korea, or Iran.

Cruz authored the No Emergency Crude Oil to Foreign Adversaries Act (S.4515) after recent reports indicated roughly 5 million barrels from these SPR sales were sent abroad, with China’s Communist Party-owned, state-run oil and gas company refining more than 1 million of those barrels.

“President Biden’s order to tap the strategic petroleum reserve has failed as an energy policy to help American families afford filling their tanks.  The fact that this misguided policy gimmick could end up benefiting our enemies is astounding,” Hyde-Smith said.  “Senator Cruz’s legislation would impose some reasonable restrictions to help make sure our strategic reserves serve U.S. interests, not China’s or Russia’s.”

“At a time of skyrocketing inflation and record gas prices, and with SPR drained to its lowest level since 1986, it is reckless and inexplicable that President Biden would allow oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to be exported to China.  This practice poses a direct threat to American national security, not least of all because the Chinese Communist Party is currently stockpiling oil for strategic use, and the Biden administration is aiding their effort,” said Cruz.

More than 260 million barrels of crude oil have been drained from the SPR since Biden in March ordered the release of 1 million barrels a day to ease an energy crisis fostered by the administration’s energy policies and global supply disruptions.  Hyde-Smith has been critical of the SPR decision and other Biden attacks on U.S. oil and natural gas production.

S.4515 would:

  • Prohibit China, Russia, North Korea and Iran from receiving future SPR exports unless the Secretary of Energy produces a waiver for one of the countries.  The Energy Secretary would only produce a waiver if it was determined that SPR sales abroad would serve America’s national security interests.
  • Require the U.S. Department of Energy, within 180 days after enactment of this legislation, to issue a report to Congress outlining SPR sales made after Nov. 23, 2021.  The report would detail the route oil sales took to their country of destination, who refined the oil, and who owns those refinement facilities.

Additional original cosponsors include Senators Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), James Lankford (R-Okla.), John Kennedy (R-La.), Roger Marshall, M.D. (R-Kan.), and Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.).

The legislation has been referred to the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, on which Hyde-Smith serves.