The Biden administration sold nearly six million barrels of oil from its Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) since July 2021 to a Chinese state-run energy firm, according to a Daily Caller News Foundation review of Department of Energy data.
From July 2021 until the end of June 2022, Biden’s energy department auctioned off 5.9 million barrels of strategic reserve oil to Unipec, the trading division of the Chinese state-owned Sinopec, in an effort to increase the supply of oil globally and drive down fuel costs in the U.S. that were exacerbated by the war in Ukraine and Biden’s climate policies. SPR oil is sold to the highest bidder, and some of the businesses entitled to make bids are American subsidiaries of foreign corporations like Unipec.
The DOE sold four million barrels to Unipec in the fall of 2021, almost six months before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, making over $252 million from the sale, according to the FY22 Emergency Drawdown No. 2 Successful Awards Report. Each barrel was sold on average for roughly $63, or over eight dollars less than the average price of oil per barrel that month.
“I think it takes a bad policy and makes it worse,” Ben Lieberman, a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, told the Daily Caller News Foundation.
“The idea of tapping into the Strategic Petroleum Reserve rather than maxing out on American drilling was foolish from the start, it’s like taking out a loan instead of going out and earning more money,” he continued.