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Ted Cruz, Joe Manchin team up to ban oil being sold from strategic reserves to China

The amendment was passed in the upper chamber  85-12 vote on July 20.

Published: July 22, 2023 2:36pm

An amendment added to the annual defense bill this week that bans oil exports to China from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve was led in a bipartisan effort by Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Tx.) and Joe Manchin (D-Wv.)

The amendment was passed in the upper chamber  85-12 vote on Thursday. 

“We know China has been amassing the largest stockpile of crude in the world. Nevertheless, last year, the United States sold off part of our reserves to China,” Cruz wrote in a statement. “I have been working with Senator Manchin to prohibit such inexplicably reckless moves in a bipartisan way.”

“We should not be selling our emergency oil reserves to our adversaries,” he continued. 

The Strategic Petroleum Reserve is currently at a low of 336 million barrels, according to recent data

President Joe Biden has been accused by lawmakers of drawing the SPR down irresponsibly, even though he has promised to refill the reserve. 

“China, on the other hand, stockpiled oil and held back refinery production, and while China was stockpiling, one of its state-owned companies purchased over 1.4 million barrels from the United States of America, the people of our great country, from our own stock of reserves,” Manchin said in a statement. “That’s what we’re trying to stop.”

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