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Republicans blame President Biden for using the U.S. strategic oil reserve as a "political tool."
On Thursday, the U.S. House of Representatives approved the passage of the "Protecting America’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve from China Act" (H.R. 22), which prohibits the sale of oil from the U.S. strategic reserve to China.
Proposed by the Republican Party, the bill had the support of the Democrats. To enter into force, however, the new law must be ratified by the Senate.
In the Lower House, the H.R. 22 Act received 97 votes against and 331 votes in favor, among which were 113 Democratic votes.
The bill intends that products from the strategic petroleum reserve are not sold "to any entity that is under the ownership, control or influence of the Chinese Communist Party", with the exception that they are not going to be exported to China.
The US strategic oil reserves are running out. The US strategic oil reserves currently contain only about 375 million barrels of oil, which is enough for 19 days of consumption. what is going on there? pic.twitter.com/evP7tLDEv4
H.R. 22 would be "a crucial step to holding China accountable, and repositioning the United States as a global energy leader," Republican Monica de la Cruz said.
Republicans blame President Joe Biden for using the U.S. strategic oil reserve as a "political tool" whose use has resulted in lower oil prices during the election year.
"To cover up his failed policies driving our energy and inflation crisis, President Biden is draining our nation’s Strategic Petroleum Reserves at an alarming rate. America’s SPR – once the world’s largest stockpile – has been depleted to the lowest levels since 1983," said Cathy McMorris, the chair of the House Energy & Commerce Committee.
For his part, Democrat Frank Pallone considers that the bill "will not achieve anything" if a ban is not raised against other adversaries of the U.S. such as Russia or North Korea.