House of Representatives votes to block China from buying US oil

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Republican-controlled House of Representatives voted Thursday to block supplies of oil from the country’s emergency stockpile to China.

The bill, one of the first to be introduced by the new GOP majority, would ban the Department of Energy from selling oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to companies owned or influenced by the Chinese Communist Party. It passed easily, 331–97, with 113 Democrats joining the unanimous Republicans in support.

Rep. Kathy McMorris, Washington, the new head of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said the bill would help end what she called “President Joe Biden’s abuse of our strategic reserves.”

Last year, Biden withdrew 180 million barrels from the strategic reserve to stem the rise in gasoline prices amid OPEC production cuts and a ban on Russian oil imports following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine. Monthly sales brought inventories to their lowest level since the 1980s. Last month, the administration said it would begin replenishing the reserve after oil prices fell.

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