Republicans on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee are requesting a briefing about the Department of Energy’s sale of nearly one million barrels of oil to China.
As part of a bid to stabilize prices, the Biden administration has sold more than 260 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) since November 2021. Nearly six million barrels have been sold to Unipec, the trading division of the Chinese state-owned oil company Sinopec, a Daily Caller News Foundation analysis found. The SPR, which can hold as many as 714 million barrels of oil, drew down to 538 million in June, a record low. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Rep. Fallon Introduces Legislation To Stop Biden’s ‘Abuse’ Of The Strategic Petroleum Reserve)
Committee ranking member James Comer of Kentucky and Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties ranking member Nancy Mace of South Carolina note in their letter, obtained exclusively by the Daily Caller, that Chinese companies have made extensive sales to Russian defense firms. They also call out Hunter Biden’s longtime business connections to Sinopec.
Read the letter here:
“In light of China’s friendship with Russia having ‘no limits,’ there are serious questions about whether SPR oil is benefiting Russia or companies assisting Russia in the invasion of Ukraine. It would be unacceptable for China to support Russia’s invasion of Ukraine with oil from the United States,” Comer and Mace write to Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm.
Republicans have expressed serious opposition to the release of crude from the SPR. They argue that President Joe Biden should instead expand domestic energy production, primarily through fracking. Biden suspended federal natural gas leases during his first week in office, and the Department of the Interior has slow-walked compliance with court orders requiring them to schedule lease sales.
Energy experts estimate that the Chinese government’s reserves can hold as many as one billion barrels of oil, and that the country may currently hold more than 900 million barrels. China does not publicly release data about its crude oil stockpile. China primarily produces and acquires petroleum through Sinopec, its state-run energy company.
Notably, Hunter Biden held equity in Sinopec through his personal investment vehicle, Skaneatles LLC. The younger Biden held 10% equity in the Chinese private equity firm BHR Partners through Skaneatles as recently as March. BHR Partners was created in 2013 “specifically for the purpose of … Capital Injection” into Sinopec, according to documents filed in 2020 with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
“It’s important for the Oversight Committee to continue to look into concerning behavior surrounding the sale of our strategic petroleum reserves. Recent reports showing the sale of $100 million of our critical oil assets to a Chinese owned company are deeply troubling especially given evidence of China’s support of the Russian war effort. We must be certain that American resources are not being used by our adversaries as they support Putin’s horrific invasion of Ukraine,” Mace said in a statement to the Caller.