Barrasso, Collins Introduce Bill to Prohibit SPR Sales to China

January 24, 2023

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), ranking member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources (ENR), and Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) introduced the Secure Auction for Energy Reserves (SAFER) Act. The SAFER Act prohibits Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) sales to China and other countries of particular concern.

“China is profiting from President Biden’s political abuse of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR),” said Barrasso. “Meanwhile, America has become more vulnerable to true energy and national security emergencies. Our legislation will ban SPR sales to China and other hostile nations. It will also ban SPR sales to state-owned companies which purchase oil from Russia, Iran, and other nations the U.S. has sanctioned. Adversaries cannot be allowed to benefit from America’s security reserve.” 

“The purpose of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve is to limit supply disruptions and insulate our economy from energy shortages.  Given the significant price increases that U.S. consumers have endured over the past two years for gasoline and home heating oil, it is inexcusable that our emergency stockpile of crude oil is being sold to dictators overseas.  This legislation would help ensure that oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve only benefits Americans and our allies, not authoritarian regimes with a history of oppressing their people,” said Collins

Read the text of the SAFER Act here

Background Information: 

On January 12, 2023, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 22, Protecting America’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve from China Act by a vote of 331 to 97. 

On November 28, 2022, Barrasso and Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers sent a letter to Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm raising concerns about potential damage to the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) due to President Biden’s unprecedented drawdowns and the Department of Energy’s mismanagement of the national security asset.  

On September 27, 2022, Barrasso wrote an op-ed in National Review on Biden’s political abuse of the SPR. 

On July 28, 2022, Barrasso and Collins introduced S. 4651, a bill to prohibit the secretary of Energy from selling crude oil from the SPR to countries of particular concern, including China. Additionally, the bill would prohibit state-owned entities, which have purchased oil from nations under sanction by the United States, from purchasing SPR products.