US Senate vote this week to block China from buying oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, which is at a 40-year low following the Biden administration’s 180 million barrel withdrawal last year.
The law – an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act that must pass – would prohibit sales of US oil to any company under the control of the Chinese Communist Party, or to Russia, Iran, North Korea or any country sanctioned by the US.
The amendments are similar to a bill that the Republican-led House of Representatives approved in January, meaning the language of the bill has a strong chance of becoming law.
Less than 2 million barrels of the 180 million recalled from the SPR last year were bought by Chinese companies; US companies sold 83 million barrels of crude to China last year, which will not be affected by the bill.
The move comes amid concerns that the Biden administration is not acting quickly enough to replenish reserves, fueling national security concerns.
Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said earlier this month that the administration may not be able to recharge the SPR during President Biden’s current term.
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