Washington, D.C. — Today, Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet joined U.S. Senators Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Rick Scott (R-Fla.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Angus King (I-Maine), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Kyrsten Sinema (I-Ariz.), and Roger Marshall (R-Kan.) to introduce a bipartisan bill to prohibit the sale of American crude oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) to any company under the control of the Chinese Communist Party, and prohibit the export of any crude oil from the SPR to China. The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed similar legislation by an overwhelming, bipartisan vote.
“The Strategic Petroleum Reserve is a powerful tool to protect our national security and limit the influence of oil-rich, autocratic leaders on our democracy,” said Bennet. “This bill ensures that the SPR will continue to serve Americans and our allies, not the Chinese Communist Party.”
“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,” said Cruz.
“The Strategic Petroleum Reserve is a vital piece of our nation’s infrastructure that bolsters our energy and national security. 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,” said Manchin.
“Our oil reserves should be used to help keep energy costs down for Americans, and kept out of the hands of our adversaries. I urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to join us in standing up to the Chinese Communist Party by supporting this important bill,” said Hassan.
“Gaining bipartisan support for this commonsense legislation is terrific and a sign that we can come together to put American interests first instead of allowing SPR assets to be sold to the likes of the Chinese Communist Party,” said Hyde-Smith.
“Energy security is a key component of national security, and the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) is vital for the stability and strength of America’s economy and Armed Forces. President Biden has used the SPR reasonably in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, but even when deployed as intended, it makes no sense to be sending China the very reserves we’d rely on in a conflict with an adversary. This bipartisan bill is a commonsense step to protect our reserves and strengthen our national security,” said King.
“The Strategic Petroleum Reserve has one purpose—to supply America in times of crisis. Our bill will ensure that our oil reserves cannot be purchased by any company under the control of the Chinese government,” said Cotton.
The text of the bill is available HERE.