Houlahan’s Bill to Protect U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserves Passes House

Representative Chrissy HoulahanImage via Office of Representative Chrissy Houlahan

On Thursday, Representative Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA)’s Banning Oil Exports to Foreign Adversaries Act passed the U.S. House of Representatives. This bipartisan legislation was reintroduced with Representative Don Bacon (R-NE) earlier this year and bans China, Russia, Iran, North Korea, and other sanctioned nations, from purchasing oil from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserves.

This bill passed the House as an amendment to the Lower Energy Costs Act. When calling for a vote on the amendment, it received unanimous support across both sides of the aisle.

“Our foreign adversaries should not have access to something as crucial to our nation’s economy and security as our strategic reserves,” said Houlahan. “This bipartisan legislation puts a stop to a practice that should’ve ended a long time ago. Passing this bill in the House was a great step in the right direction and I hope it will be taken up by the Senate and be signed into law to protect our national security.”

In the 1970s, a ban was placed on the exporting of all U.S. oil. Congress lifted that ban in 2015 without making an exception for the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. The U.S. Department of Energy, which manages the SPR, conducts a competitive bidding process and automatically awards the oil contracts to the highest bidders. Chinese-owned and affiliated companies have won contracts under both President Biden’s and President Trump’s Administrations.

Last year, during Houlahan’s 63rd town hall a constituent raised this issue and asked Houlahan to do something about it. The next day her team started drafting the bill.

Representatives Houlahan and Bacon are joined by 67 cosponsors — Dan Kildee (D-MI), María Elvira Salazar (R-FL), Ann Kuster (D-NH), Pat Fallon (R-TX), Sharice Davids (D-KS), Jay Obernolte (R-CA), David Trone (D-MD), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Elissa Slotkin (D-MI), Jenniffer González Colón (R-PR), Steve Cohen (D-TN), Young Kim (R-CA), Jim Costa (D-CA), Jake Ellzey (R-TX), Jared Moskowitz (D-FL), Jim Baird (R-IN), Nikki Budzinski (D-IL), Glenn Thompson (R-PA), Chris Pappas (D-NH), Scott Franklin (R-FL), Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO), Monica De La Cruz (R-TX), Susan Wild (D-PA), John Garamendi (D-CA), Scott Peters (D-CA), Andy Kim (D-NJ), William Keating (D-MA), Dina Titus (D-NV), Mike Quigley (D-IL), Bradley Schneider (D-IL), Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick (D-FL), Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), Dean Phillips (D-MN), Ami Bera (D-CA), Sanford Bishop, Jr. (D-GA), Jill Tokuda (D-HI), Diana DeGette (D-CO), J. Luis Correa (D-CA), Salud Carbajal (D-CA), Mike Levin (D-CA), Yadira Caraveo (D-CO), Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ), Joe Courtney (D-CT), Kathy Castor (D-FL), Debbie Wassterman Schultz (D-FL), André Carson (D-IN), Jahana Hayes (D-CT) Wiley Nickel (D-NC), Danny Davis (D-IL), Raul Ruiz (D-CA), Susan DelBene (D-WA), Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-DE), Marylin Strickland (D-WA), Jennifer Wexton (D-VA), Dan Goldman (D-NY), Jason Crow (D-CO), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), Veronica Escobar (D-TX), Jared Huffman (D-CA), Chellie Pingree (D-ME), Katie Porter (D-CA), David Cicilline (D-RI), C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD), Eric Sorensen (D-IL), Ed Case (D-HI).

Read the full text of the bill here.

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