Biden Administration Calls GOP ‘Irresponsible’ For Protecting Petroleum Reserves

The Biden administration has already begun its fight against the just-seated Republican majority House over its relentless effort to destroy American energy independence and economic security. On Thursday, White House Council of Economic Advisers Chair Cecilia Rouse told Bloomberg that it is “irresponsible” for House Republicans to limit Biden’s ability to plunder the nation’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR).

Rouse said the SPR is “designed” for Biden’s unfettered use in case of emergency. She said the “Department of Energy is actually required to do a release.”

Rouse went on to describe her understanding of the purpose of the SPR. “If we have a hiccup in the gasoline availability in some part of the United States, we need to have the SPR available at the president’s discretion to be able to address that need,” she explained.

She said she believes the SPR is needed to “keep gasoline on the market.” She said during the interview that the SPR is currently stocked to “roughly half of its capacity.”

House Republicans advanced a bill on Thursday designed to prevent America’s SPR crude oil from being sent to China. The legislation is now going to the Senate, where it faces an uphill path.

Federal law requires the Department of Energy to accept the highest bid at SPR auctions. The rules exclude accepting proposals from nations or entities being sanctioned by the U.S. government.

Last year, almost 1 million barrels of crude oil from the SPR were sold to Unipec America. That company is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sinopec, an oil company owned by the Chinese government controlled by the Chinese Communist Party.

The bill passed in the House with some Democratic support, 331-97. In addition to banning the direct sale of SPR oil to Chinese entities, it places a condition on all SPR sales that oil sold may not then be exported to China.

House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) argued on behalf of the bill on the chamber floor. “China now likely controls the world’s largest government-controlled stockpile of oil, with almost a billion barrels, at the expense of American taxpayers and our energy security,” she said.

Rodgers added: “America’s SPR is meant for true energy supply disruptions, like those caused by hurricanes and natural disasters, not to help China.”