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Scalise: Stop SPR Sales to CCP

  • 1.12.23 SPR Floor Speech
Today, House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.) delivered a speech on the House Floor in support of H.R. 22, Protecting America’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve from China Act. Leader Scalise slammed the Biden Administration for putting our national security at risk by selling the United States’ Strategic Petroleum Reserves to the Chinese Communist Party. Additionally, Leader Scalise called out President Biden for depleting our reserves to mask how his far-left climate policies have raised energy costs for American families.  
Click here or on the image above to view the interview.
On President Biden selling our Strategic Petroleum Reserve to China: “Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and thank the Chair of the Energy and Commerce Committee, my dear friend Ms. McMorris Rodgers, for yielding and for bringing this legislation, H.R. 22, to the Floor.  “[This is] such an important piece of legislation to start standing up for America's national security. Because if you think about the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, just think of the first word in that name – strategic. It's there for America's national security. “SPR, as it's referred to, first of all, raiding SPR, which President Biden has done over and over and over again, depleting 40 percent of our national Strategic [Petroleum] Reserve, not to move more oil prices.  “As you can see, Mr. Speaker, multiple times, starting in November of 2021, President Biden has raided SPR because he's attacked American energy. As he attacked American energy starting on his first day in office, the price of oil and gasoline at the pump subsequently [rose] dramatically, crushing middle class families. So he started feeling the heat.  “Now his answer should have been [to] reverse the failed policies that are dramatically increasing gas prices by crushing American energy. But no, that's not what President Biden did because the extremists on the Left don't want that. They won't allow him to do it.  “So then he turns to SPR, and he said, ‘Well, maybe we can just try to trick the American people by raiding SPR.’ So he did. And when he raided it, what happened? You got a sugar high for about a week, and boom! The price started going back up again because the world markets recognized President Biden [had] taken American energy off the market.  “Mr. Speaker, we are the only country in the world that can produce massive quantities of oil that is a free market country. The rest of the countries that have an abundant supply are cartels, OPEC, Russia, Iran, [and] Venezuela – they want a high price. The only check and balance to high prices of oil is a free market producing America. “And by the way, if you want to hide behind the Green New Deal and global warming and whatever other name they attached to it, climate change – they change the name every couple of years because the American people figure out that all it is is an attack on American energy. And so the price keeps going up because we're shutting off the cleanest producing country in the world.  “You want to lower carbon emissions in the world? Produce more oil in America. It's not just about creating more jobs. It's not just about our national security, Mr. Speaker. It's about actually reducing global emissions. Because China – as this bill addresses, President Biden [is] selling our strategic reserves to China – China's building about a coal plant a week, a new coal plant every week, dramatically increasing carbon emissions while President Biden shuts down American manufacturing and production, shuts down oil. “By the way, we were reducing emissions during those times when we were producing energy. So again, over and over again, raided SPR, raided SPR, raided SPR. The price kept going up; what went down [was] America's national security. And that's what we're getting to the heart of here. “Forty percent of our reserves. Now, you’ve got two different ways to get energy. We can actually produce it – as the moniker right above the Speaker's rostrum says, ‘Let us develop our natural resources.’ We've got natural resources, we've got the best technology in the world, we can produce it cleaner than anybody else in the world. And so, as long as we're producing energy, it actually can lower the cost.  “And so, we don't just produce enough for ourselves because, by the way, if we weren't allowed to export energy, then you would see a decrease in production, you would see a decrease in exploration. It's like a farmer. If a farmer can only produce and sell in America, they're going to plan a lot less because they can't have access to world markets. You want to have access to world markets.  “But you want to also have a reserve – not in case you have a failed policy, as is what we're seeing with President Biden – you want a reserve in case there's a natural disaster. If a hurricane hits the Gulf of Mexico, as we've seen, it actually spikes the price. So you have a brief disruption, and you want a reserve to go and fill that need.  “[You want a reserve in case] you have some kind of national security emergency, like they did in the 1970s, by the way, when SPR was created. That's when we created this reserve for our country – when cartels controlled world oil markets because we didn't have the technology to access like we do today. We didn't have fracking technology. We didn't have the ability to go 5,000 feet in the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico to find billion barrel reserves like we do today. And so the cartels controlled everything – lines at the pump. You had to have an even-numbered license plate to get gasoline on a certain day. That was the 1970s. And so, Congress created SPR for national security.  “I understand a little history lesson might help people recognize how we got here. It's not by accident that we got here. We should want as Congress to be able to work together to fix this problem, to address the fact that prices have gone up not just for gasoline at the pump, [but also] when people are heating their homes in a cold winter. The price shouldn't be that high.  “And, by the way, we were also, by exporting energy, helping our friends around the world so we don't have to be dependent on oil from other places or natural gas. So Putin, as was the case in the build-up to Afghanistan, Putin was making about $700 million a day, Mr. Speaker, selling his oil to America and Europe because President Biden shut off American supply. No reason that should have happened. But that's what got us here.  “What can get us out? First, let me remind you what else got us here because they're trying to blame everybody else under the sun: It was Putin's fault, it's the oil companies' fault, it's the weather's fault. It's President Biden's fault.  “Day one, he started mountains of rules and regulations. These aren't laws passed by Congress, by the way. These are rules and regulations that have come out of the Biden Administration just in the last two years attacking American energy, not foreign countries. President Biden was okay with pipelines from Russia to Europe, but he said no on day one to a pipeline from Canada to America. So all of these actions had a cost. The cost is dramatic prices at the pump for hardworking families, crushing the lowest income families amongst us. “What agencies, by the way, are represented here? Department of Energy went after American energy; Department of Energy Regulatory Commission; the Securities and Exchange Commission, through woke policies going after American energy; the Department of Agriculture, yes, went after American energy in these rules and [regulations]; the Council on Environmental Quality; the Department of State, that gets to the Keystone pipeline; the Environmental Protection Agency; the Department of Justice; and yes, the Department of Interior – all represented right here in rules and regulations that crushed American energy, making us more dependent on foreign countries and leading to President Biden raiding our Strategic Petroleum Reserve 40 percent, making our country less safe. “This foolishness has to end. We can solve this problem. Now, Ms. McMorris Rodgers and her committee, they actually have real ideas about how to solve this problem. The good news is, Mr. Speaker, under this majority, we're going to be bringing bills through committee to the Floor to fix this problem. “Now, on the other side today, you hear them talking about this magic bill. They've got a bill. Boy, if we just killed this bill because they want to keep selling our strategic reserves to China. Nine hundred fifty thousand barrels already that President Biden has sold to China, but they've got some magic answer. My question would be, where was that magic answer two years ago, two months ago, two weeks ago, when they were in the majority? They had the House, Senate, and White House, and just I guess, in the last two weeks, they finally figured out the answer because they surely didn't pass that to the President two weeks ago, two months ago, or two years ago.  “What they did do is they brought mountains and mountains of regulation to crush American energy. And then [President] Biden gets on a plane, [it’s] called Air Force One. We've checked it. There are no solar panels on the wings of Air Force One. It actually uses jet fuel. And he [flew] to Saudi Arabia and begged Saudi princes to produce more energy because he shut down America's energy production. No leases, no pipelines, no permits – he's done all those things, and it led to higher prices.  “He didn't have to get on Air Force One and fly thousands of miles back and forth. Who knows what the carbon footprint of that is – I'd love to see the press dig into that because they love talking about carbon footprints for other things. He didn't have to get on Air Force One at all. He could have picked up the phone and called Port Fourchon in South Louisiana and said, ‘Will you produce more energy in America?’ Cleaner, more efficient, better jobs than anywhere else in the world. He didn't do that.  “It's time we get smart policies. It's time we have some common sense in our energy policy so we stop crushing those middle class families. To sell our oil to China – not just our oil, our reserves – this is our piggy bank in case there's a disaster. He's depleted 40 percent of it, and he keeps reducing it to mask his failed policies. Let's get the policy right and start fighting for those hardworking families who are suffering because of this. Let's pass this legislation. Let's keep going to work for those families, and I yield back the balance of my time.”