China’s state-run Global Times on Thursday uncorked a furious tirade against “infamous U.S. Republican anti-China senators Marco Rubio [R-FL] and Rick Scott [R-FL]” because they dared to introduce a bill called the China Oil Export Prohibition Act, which would halt American exports of oil and petroleum products to the People’s Republic of China while the U.S. struggles to get soaring fuel prices under control.
“While gas prices soar across the country, the Biden Administration is allowing half a million barrels of American oil to go to China every day. This is unacceptable. We need to increase American oil production and give priority to domestic consumers, not send oil to a genocidal regime half a world away,” Rubio said on Wednesday when introducing the bill.
“It’s absurd that we continue to export oil to Communist China while Americans pay more than $5 per gallon of gas here at home,” said Scott.
“In the first three months of 2022 alone, the U.S. sent nearly 52 million barrels of oil and petroleum to Communist China. Meanwhile, families here dealing with skyrocketing prices are forced to choose between putting gas in their cars and food on the table for their kids. Americans must come before sales to Communist China,” Scott said.
The Global Times sputtered in outrage at Rubio and Scott, calling them “xenophobic” and accusing them of cynically playing to anti-China sentiments during an election year.
#Opinion: It is not surprising that US politicians play the xenophobic card in an election year. What is astonishing is how awful this kind of political card can be. The China Oil Export Prohibition Act by @marcorubio and @SenRickScott is just one example. https://t.co/ipYKFDFnO5
— Global Times (@globaltimesnews) June 16, 2022
Flailing around for something else critical to say, the Chinese Communist propagandists accused Rubio and Scott of attempting to direct American “grievances” about soaring inflation against “the Democratic Party and China.”
Those grievances do not appear to require much direction from the two Florida senators, judging by the latest polls, and the Global Times did not do much to help President Joe Biden and his party by running through them:
There are many factors causing inflation and soaring energy and fuel prices in the US, such as labor shortage, COVID-19 epidemic, the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict, US-launched trade war against China, and the US’ rounds of QE. The US only has itself to blame for the current inflation issue.
If the US does prohibit oil exports to China, US inflation will become higher, ordinary people will suffer more loss, and will add more burden to its domestic governance. It will turn out only these politicians gain political capital. China is one of the world’s largest oil importers. Prohibiting the export of oil and petroleum products from the US to China would undermine US oil companies, and they will not remain indifferent. Such political calculations by politicians like Rubio and Scott are doomed to be unpopular.
The Institute for Energy Research (IER) noted Friday that China is “surpassing the United States this year as the world’s largest refiner as government climate goals and regulation cause U.S. refiners to close facilities.”
“While additional refinery closures are expected in the United States, China is expected to add capacity, capping the country’s primary refining capacity at 20 million barrels per day by 2025 and boosting utilization rates of its refining facilities to above 80 percent,” IER observed, warning that fuel shortages and rationing are a very real possibility for the United States in the near future, especially diesel fuel on the East Coast.
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