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Lucas: Energy Security is National Security

Government and Politics

January 12, 2023


Lucas: Energy Security is National Security

Washington, DC – Today, Congressman Frank Lucas (OK-03) released the following statement after the U.S. House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly in support of H.R. 22- the Protecting America’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve from China Act:

“In the wake of a politically-motivated, multi-country oil embargo that contributed to then-record high fuel prices, global energy shortages, and American energy security concerns, Congress established the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. Since its inception the SPR has been both a national security and an energy security asset, helping reduce true energy supply disruptions. Yet, more recently, President Biden has irresponsibly utilized the SPR to cover up his failed policies, rapidly draining America’s petroleum reserves to its lowest levels since 1983,” said Congressman Lucas. “As well as tying the hands and limiting the U.S.’s ability to respond to energy disruptions, the Biden Administration is bolstering the oil reserves of the Chinese Communist Party, who continues to ramp up its purchases of crude oil from Russia and the United States. We must reverse the Biden Administration’s dangerous course of action. 

“The Protecting America’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve from China Act would prohibit the sale and export of America’s crude oil to our greatest generational threat- China- and would be a step in the right direction towards unleashing American energy production.  American energy security and independence is essential to our national security and the economic security of every single American family, which is why we must invest in new technologies and expand our all-of-the-above energy production strategy. I applaud Chairwoman Rodgers for her leadership and look forward to working with my colleagues strengthening America’s energy security and making energy cleaner, more affordable, and more reliable for all Americans.”

H.R. 22- the Protecting America’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve from China Act, prohibits the sale and export of crude oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) to China. Specifically, the bill prohibits the Department of Energy (DOE) from selling petroleum products (e.g., crude oil) from the SPR to any entity that is under the ownership, control, or influence of the Chinese Communist Party.

“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. To date, President Biden has released more from the SPR than all U.S. presidents in history combined. Millions of barrels of that oil have gone to China, which now has the world’s largest government-controlled stockpile of oil. Draining our strategic reserves for political purposes and selling it to China is a significant threat to our national and energy security,” said House Energy & Commerce Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers. “This must be stopped, which is why I’m proud to join my Republican colleagues in passing H.R. 22, one of the most bipartisan votes on an energy bill in many years and multiple Congresses. There’s more to come. This is just the beginning.”

According to the DOE, in April 2022, the Biden Administration sold almost a million barrels of SPR oil to Unipec America, a subsidiary of Sinopec, a company owned by the Chinese Communist Party, at $103.30 a barrel for a total of about $98 million dollars.

The Strategic Petroleum Reserve has an authorized storage capacity of 714 million barrels. According to a recent report, as of December 30, 2022, there were 372.4 million barrels remaining in the SPR- its lowest level in 39 years. 

In March of 2022, Lucas criticized President Biden after his decision to release 180 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve stating, “President Biden’s decision to further tap into the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to backfill the deficit in global oil yields is irresponsible, misguided, and will further jeopardize our national security as the Biden Administration continues to drain important emergency reserves.”