Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm faced significant backlash last Friday following a Fox News Digital report revealing her two communications with a high-ranking Chinese government official prior to the White House’s announcement to utilize emergency oil reserves.
Americans for Public Trust uncovered, through internal Department of Energy (DOE) calendars, that Granholm met with China National Energy Administration Chairman and senior Chinese Communist Party member, Zhang Jianhua, on November 19 and 21, 2021.
Just two days later, the White House disclosed their intention to release 50 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR).
Before apprising the American public of their controversial plan to deplete the SPR at unprecedented rates, reportedly for political gain before the midterm elections, Secretary Granholm apparently had confidential discussions with the Chinese Communist Party, noted House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers. Since then, under Granholm’s stewardship, the DOE has offloaded millions of barrels of oil from our SPR to China, the world’s leading polluter.
McMorris Rodgers declared on Friday that her committee will insist on “answers and full transparency” from Granholm, underscoring the urgency for Congress to pass the Protecting America’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve from China Act.
This act would prohibit the federal government from selling any petroleum product reserves, including those from the SPR, to Chinese entities.
House GOP Majority Leader Steve Scalise lambasted the Biden administration for their covert dealings with the Chinese Communist Party that reportedly aided in reducing China’s energy costs while leaving American taxpayers to face increasing costs at home.
“Why does communist China have more input on U.S. energy policy than the American people under the Biden administration?” questioned Rep. Mike Collins.
Following the November 2021 announcement of oil release from the U.S. reserves, the White House mentioned that the action was in conjunction with “other major energy-consuming nations including China.” However, Biden suggested that China “may do more as well,” while Granholm hinted at an upcoming announcement by China.
Contrary to releasing oil stocks, China has been bolstering its reserves since November 2021, as warned by McMorris Rodgers in a letter to Granholm.
The letter indicated that China might now possess approximately 950 million barrels of crude oil in its inventories, potentially making it the world’s largest holder of oil reserves.
The Biden administration’s seemingly questionable dealings with China have led to at least 2 million barrels of oil from the SPR being sold to Unipec, a subsidiary of the state-run China Petrochemical Corporation.
Zhang, who had previously interacted with Granholm, held a leadership position at the China Petrochemical Corporation for several years.
“The Biden Admin’s murky ties with China should be a red flag for every American,” said Rep. Nick Langworthy on Friday. “Secretary Granholm, under the pretense of discussing climate change, appears to have been hatching a plan to deplete and sell our SPR to a foreign adversary.”
Since assuming office, Biden has directed the DOE to dispense about 260 million barrels of oil stored in the SPR to counter high fuel prices affecting American consumers. This has led to the SPR’s stockpile plummeting to around 346.8 million barrels of oil, its lowest since August 1983.
A DOE spokesperson justified their approach, stating that resolving the climate crisis necessitates engagement with competitors and allies alike, especially among the nations contributing the most carbon pollution. The global climate change challenge demands a collective response, they added.
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