Biden’s sale of reserve oil to a Chinese company linked to Hunter Biden is ‘impeachable’: Republicans
The Biden administration’s decision to sell nearly a million barrels of oil reserves to China “defies common sense” and benefits U.S. adversaries at the expense of national interests, Republican lawmakers have said, with some calling the action of “impeachable”.
The Ministry of Energy in April sold 950,000 barrels of strategic oil reserve at Unipec America, the American branch of China’s largest trading company Unipec, wholly owned by China Petrochemical Corporation, also known as Sinopec.
Sinopec is a Beijing-based state-run Chinese oil and gas company that has been linked to President Joe Biden’s second son, Hunter Biden, whose overseas business dealings have fueled growing scrutiny.
The sale, though little noticed at the time, drew strong reactions from Republican lawmakers. As the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR), the world’s largest emergency crude oil supply, drops to an all-time low as Americans nationwide feel the pinch of soaring gasoline and diesel prices, such a move goes against U.S. interests and puts national security at risk, the officials said.
“The Biden administration shouldn’t send our reserves, which we need for our country, to China. It’s nonsense and defies common sense,” Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida), who introduced a bill in June to ban the export of oil to China.
Representatives Troy Nehls (R-Texas) and Mike Loychik (R-Ohio) described the Biden administration’s oil sale to China as “impenetrable.”
“While you’re paying FIVE DOLLARS a gallon at the pump and struggling to pay your electric bill, Biden just sold a million barrels of our China-only oil so his family could earn money. money. It’s impenetrable,” Nehls said on Twitter.
Hunter Biden Ties
The Unipec contract was worth $98.135 million, according to an April 21 report from the Department of Energy. Unipec was one of 12 companies that won the Department of Energy’s second emergency sale contracts, totaling 30 million barrels.
The department described the action as a step to “address the pain Americans are feeling at the pump” and “reduce costs for Americans in the future.”
Sinopec is tied to Hunter through BHR Partners, a private equity firm Hunter helped found. The company invested a total of 10 billion yuan (about $1.5 billion) in 2014 in Sinopec.
Hunter was an unpaid member of BHR’s board of directors until April 2020 and held a 10% stake in the company last May, although it is unclear whether he divested.
“He worked to unwind his investment,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters in February when asked about his company shares.
In addition to Unipec, contract winners also include US oil giants such as ExxonMobil and Chevron, as well as three Swiss-based companies. Nine of the companies auctions won in a third round of selling 40 million barrels of crude oil in late May.
“Completely failed this country”
More than 5 million barrels of oil from the emergency reserve were exported to Europe and Asia in June, with at least one shipment to China, according to a Reuters report report.
According AAA. But the price is still more than 50% higher than the same period a year ago.
“The Biden administration’s energy policies have completely failed in this country,” Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Arizona) told The Epoch Times. “From the administration’s reluctance to release American energy to shipping our limited supplies to adversaries linked to Hunter Biden, their decisions have ended American energy independence.”
“Gasoline prices are at historic highs, inflation continues to climb to unprecedented levels, and this administration continues to deflect its failures and blame everyone but itself,” Biggs said. “The Biden administration has no solutions because they don’t realize what the problem is.”
Amid rising oil prices, Biden accused oil companies of profiteering and demanded that gas stations “[b]reduce the price you charge at the pump.
When asked on July 8 if the Biden administration was aware that some of the SPR’s oil might end up going overseas, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said said the Department of Energy “cannot dictate what oil companies do with the oil they buy or where they ship it to sell.
“As far as oil is concerned, it is something that the oil companies decide. We cannot control what the oil companies do with their oil,” she added. said. “You should ask the oil companies where they send the oil they buy and why. It’s not something we can answer from here.
Diminishing oil reserves
The American SPR sat in 492 million barrels as of July 1marking a drop of 5.8 million barrels for a week before. This is the lowest level since April 1986. With US consumption of 19.78 barrels per day based on 2021 estimates from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), the current oil supply could last less than 25 days.
Crude inventories have been falling steadily since the administration began releasing 1 million barrels a day in April, part of a six-month initiative aimed at lowering energy prices.
The depletion of oil reserves, normally reserved for emergencies such as natural disasters and wars, worries Washington.
Early last month, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.), the lead Republican legislator on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, penned a letter with Rep. Fred Upton (R.-Mich. ), the top Republican on the energy subcommittee, to Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm last month, saying the ongoing levy is depleting U.S. fuel supplies while allowing adversaries such as China to gain geopolitical influence.
“The American people deserve answers as to why our emergency energy supplies are being sent to foreign adversaries like the Chinese Communist Party, undermining our energy security and our national security,” she told AFP. Epoch Times.
The Department of Energy has yet to provide a response, the lawmaker noted.
“What do they have to hide?” President Biden must remember that our strategic energy reserves are for emergencies, not for hiding bad policies,” she said. “America needs to flip the switch and increase its ability to produce and refine oil here at home.
“Now is not the time to use our strategic stock.”
The Epoch Times contacted the Department of Energy about China shipment details and the Unipec contract, but did not hear back as of press time. The White House did not respond to a request for comment from The Epoch Times.