According to a new analysis of Department of Energy (DOE) records, the Biden White House has sold roughly 5.9 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to a China state-owned energy firm since July 2021.
From July 2021 through the end of June ’22, Biden’s energy dept. sold 5.9 million barrels of oil from its strategic reserve to Unipec, the trading arm of Chinese state-owned Sinopec, in an attempt to increase global oil supply and reduce U.S. fuel costs exacerbated by the Ukrainian conflict and Joe Biden’s climate policies. The SPR oil is offered to the highest bidder, with some of the firms eligible to bid being American branches of foreign corporations like Unipec.
According to the FY22 Emergency Drawdown No. 2 Successful Awards Report, the DOE sold 4 million barrels to Unipec last year, nearly 6 months before the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, resulting in a gain of over $252 million from the transaction. The average price for each barrel was about $63, or about 8 dollars less than that month’s average oil price per barrel.
“I believe it takes a terrible policy and makes it even worse,” Competitive Enterprise Institute senior fellow Ben Lieberman said.
“The notion of using the Strategic Petroleum Reserve instead of going all out on US drilling was stupid from the start,” he added.
The DOE sold 950,000 barrels of oil to Unipec for about $113 million in July 2022, according to the Fiscal Year 22 Emergency Drawdown 3A Report. While the White House claimed the sales would assist America in battling “Putin’s price increase,” Unipec is still buying significant quantities of Russian oil, as reported by Bloomberg.
“It’s doing a little bit of good, but it’s still a horrible policy,” Lieberman told the DCNF. “The fact that we are using our Strategic Petroleum Reserve rather than offshore drilling or increasing oil deliveries to the U.S. through the Keystone XL pipeline is truly disgraceful.”
The DOE also sold 950,000 barrels of oil to Unipec in April, according to a DOE report.
“The Strategic Petroleum Reserve never was a viable alternative and, hearing that this oil will go to China, it undercuts their logic even more,” said Lieberman. “Biden’s approach demonstrates that he places American customers and the economy last.”