Why would he do that?
The revelation that President Joe Biden is sending some of the nation’s emergency oil to China, among other nations, received strong criticism from several GOP lawmakers.
On Thursday (July 7), a day after a Reuters report revealed that the U.S. had diverted more than 5 million barrels of oil — released from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve — to European and Asian nations rather than U.S. refiners, Republican lawmakers were adamant Biden should answer why emergency oil reserves were sent to U.S. adversaries.
The 5 million barrels likely is a portion of the 260 million barrels Biden instructed the Department of Energy to release over the last eight months, a move intended to ease the pain at the pump for millions of Americans.
But Reuters’ report, which cited customs data detailing how 2 percent of that amount was diverted to other nations, didn’t go unnoticed.
“The American people deserve answers as to why our emergency energy reserves are being sent to foreign adversaries like the Chinese Communist Party, compromising our energy security and national security,” Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA.), House Energy and Commerce Committee Ranking Member, said in a statement.
The Washington Republican also called out Biden’s strategy to use emergency reserves rather than increase U.S. capacity to produce and refine oil, calling it a “cover-up” for “bad policies.”
“Now is not the time to use our strategic stockpile,” she continued.
Her statement follows a letter she and Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI.), the top Republican on the Energy Committee, wrote to Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, in which the pair demanded information about how the administration’s SPR policy had helped enrich China.
In the June letter, the two GOP lawmakers pointed to reports that China had purchased oil from the U.S. strategic reserve to bolster its stockpile.
Discussing the letter, McMorris Rodgers revealed the two are yet to receive a response, wondering: “What do they have to hide?”