Ernst sponsors bipartisan Banning Oil Exports to Foreign Adversaries Act

The export or sale of oil from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) to foreign adversaries of the United States would be prohibited under a bipartisan bill offered last week by U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA).

The Banning Oil Exports to Foreign Adversaries Act,  S. 4020, which Sen. Ernst signed on to as the lead original cosponsor on March 21, is sponsored by U.S. Sen. John Fetterman (D-PA). The bill would ban sales to China, Russia, Iran, Venezuela, Syria, and Cuba, as well as any entity owned, controlled, or influenced by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

“Energy security is national security, which is why it is essential to safeguard our strategic supply of oil from benefitting our enemies,” Sen. Ernst said. “This bipartisan bill will ensure America’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve does not fall into the hands of those trying to harm us and ensure CCP-controlled businesses are not making money by stockpiling taxpayer-subsidized oil. 

“We cannot put Americans last when our adversaries are seeking any opportunity to gain a foothold over us,” she added.

The SPR, the world’s largest supply of emergency crude oil, continues to protect and strengthen U.S. national, economic, and energy security, according to information provided by Sen. Ernst’s staff.

The U.S. Department of Energy manages the SPR and regularly conducts public sales of excess crude oil to the highest bidders through competitive public auction. Foreign companies with direct ties to U.S. adversaries have previously won these auctions, giving them access to critical energy reserves, the information says. 

“Our Strategic Petroleum Reserve is meant to protect the energy security of America and our allies,” said Sen. Fetterman. “Our adversaries should not be able to purchase oil from our SPR — that’s just common sense. We must prioritize our national security.”

He noted that S. 4020 has overwhelming bipartisan support in both chambers.