Senators Rick Scott, Ted Cruz Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Prohibit Sale of Oil from SPR to China

February 3, 2023

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Rick Scott joined Senators Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) 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. 


Senators 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), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), 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.) cosponsored the legislation. The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed similar legislation by an overwhelming, bipartisan vote of 331-97, with 113 House Democrats voting in support of the bill.


Senator Rick Scott said, “In only two years as president, Joe Biden has managed to cozy up to Communist China AND wage a war on American energy. Families are facing historically high prices when it comes to gas and groceries and it is forcing them to make tough choices. The LAST THING Joe Biden should be doing with America’s strategic petroleum reserve is giving it away to our adversaries. We must focus on unleashing American energy for America—NOT Communist China.”


Senator Ted Cruz said, “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.” 


Senator Joe Manchin said, “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.”


Senator John Boozman said, “America’s energy supply should be used to benefit U.S. consumers and enhance our national security, not exported to Chinese Communists. The Biden administration’s disastrous energy policies have already driven gas prices to historic highs. We need to unleash American energy so we can restock and protect our SPR, help get prices down here at home and ensure we aren’t aiding adversaries at our own security and economic expense.”


Senator Maggie Hassan said, “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.”


Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith said, “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.”


Senator Mike Braun said, “There is no reason why President Biden should be depleting our Strategic Petroleum Reserves and benefitting the Chinese Communist Party when we need to unleash American energy production to compete with China in the long term.”


Senator Michael Bennet said, “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. This bill ensures that the SPR will continue to serve Americans and our allies, not the Chinese Communist Party.”


Senator John Hoeven said, “This is common sense, bipartisan legislation that would prevent the administration from selling oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to our adversary China. Instead of draining our strategic reserves, the Biden administration should take the handcuffs off our domestic energy producers so we can unleash more U.S. oil in regions like the Bakken, and make our nation energy secure once again.”


Senator Angus King said, “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.” 


Senator Tom Cotton said, “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.”


Senator Dan Sullivan said, “Make no mistake—the biggest fan of President Biden’s radical energy policies is Xi Jinping. Not only has President Biden’s day-one shutdown of U.S. energy forfeited one of America’s greatest strategic advantages relative to China, his administration actually sold a million barrels of oil from our Strategic Petroleum Reserve to the Chinese Communist Party-controlled Unipec. The SPR is meant to support our nation through major security crises—not to bail out a President’s catastrophic energy policies or buttress our main global adversary. I’m glad to join Senator Cruz and my colleagues in introducing legislation to bar this administration from selling any more of our emergency energy reserves to China.”


Read the legislation HERE.