The Biden administration sold close to one million barrels of oil from the United States’ strategic reserve to a Chinese company that one of his son’s equity companies once bought a $1.7 billion stake in.
In March, the Energy Department announced that it was releasing 30 million barrels of crude oil out of the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve. The “emergency sale” was conducted to “provide a wartime bridge that will support American consumers and the global economy in response to Vladimir Putin’s war of choice against Ukraine.”
The Energy Department received 126 bids, and the department chose 12 to receive a portion of the offering. One of those 12 companies was Unipec America, Inc. and it was chosen to receive 950,000 barrels of crude oil in the “price-competitive sale.”
While the sale went largely unnoticed at the time, The Washington Free Beacon pointed out on Thursday that Unipec is a branch of the China Petrochemical Corporation, also known as Sinopec and controlled by the Chinese government. The revelation comes after a Wednesday Reuters report revealed that the Biden administration had recently released five million more barrels of crude oil from the strategic reserve to other countries. China received about one million barrels of the latest release.
Sinopec has a prior history with the Bidens. In 2013, Hunter Biden co-founded the private equity firm BHR Partners. In 2015, BHR acquired a $1.7 billion stake in Sinopec Marketing. In 2017, Biden took a minority stake in BHR, purchasing a 10% stake through an LLC he solely owned called Skaneateles.
Last year, an attorney for Hunter Biden told The New York Times that Hunter “no longer holds any interest, directly or indirectly, in either BHR or Skaneateles.” As recently as March, records in China’s National Credit Information Publicity System showed that Skaneateles still retained its 10% stake in BHR. Business records in Washington, D.C., still listed Hunter as the sole owner of Skaneateles at the time.
It is not clear whether the Chinese records were accurate or needed to be updated.
The revelation about the March sale to Sinopec has already began sparking calls for investigation. Daniel Turner, the executive director of the energy advocate group Power The Future, said that the March deal warrants investigation.
“The Biden Administration sent critical resources to the communist Chinese, including one firm which has the president’s own son Hunter as an investor, at the same time Americans are struggling at the pump,” Turner said in a statement. “A special prosecutor should be appointed and Congress needs to investigate because the American people deserve the truth and they’re not getting it from the White House.”