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Senators unveil bipartisan measure banning Strategic Petroleum Reserve sales to China, Russia, Iran

Sens. John Fetterman (D-Pa.) and Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) introduced a bipartisan measure that would ban the export or sale of oil from the United States’s oil reserves to China, Russia, Iran, Venezuela, Syria and Cuba.

The measure, the Banning Oil Exports to Foreign Adversaries Act, would also prohibit the sale of oil from the country’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) to “any entity owned, controlled or influenced” by the Chinese Communist Party.

“Our Strategic Petroleum Reserve is meant to protect the energy security of America and our allies,” Fetterman said in a statement. “Our adversaries should not be able to purchase oil from our SPR — that’s just common sense.”

Fetterman asked Congress to prioritize the United States’s national security and said he is proud to have “overwhelming bipartisan support” for the measure in both chambers of Congress.

Ernst said it is “essential” to safeguard the country’s oil supply from “benefitting our enemies.” The bill would work to ensure that the SPR “does not fall into the hands of those trying to harm us” and ensure communist-controlled businesses profit off “taxpayer-subsidized oil.”

“We cannot put Americans last when our adversaries are seeking any opportunity to gain a foothold over us,” Ernst’s statement said.

Sens. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Bob Casey (D-Pa.) and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) joined Fetterman and Ernst as original co-sponsors of the legislation. A bill that similarly aimed to ban sales from the country’s oil reserves to China was passed by the House in January 2023.

The House also approved a package of six spending bills earlier this month that included provisions to prevent the sale of oil in the SPR to China.

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