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Op-Ed: Congress Should Lift the U.S. Ban on Crude Oil Exports

By Chris John, president of the Louisiana Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association

The American oil and natural gas industry depends on Louisiana. It depends on our friends, families and neighbors who work on the rigs and at the ports to provide fuels that Louisiana and the rest of country needs in constant supply. Thanks to recent developments in American innovation we are doing that work even better and at a bigger scale today than ever before.

The shale development boom across the United States is changing our country’s energy landscape as U.S. crude oil output soars to a 31-year high and oil imports continue to steadily decline. Lifting the 1970s era crude oil export ban would allow this boom to continue while lowering energy costs for consumers and increasing tax revenues for local governments. In Louisiana, lifting the ban would grow the industry that so many of us care deeply about as our state looks to the future.

Congress passed the crude oil export ban in 1975 to protect America from the energy supply and price shocks that resulted from the OPEC oil embargo. Times, however, are changing. In 2014 the United States surpassed both Russia and Saudi Arabia as the largest global producer of crude oil and natural gas liquids by volume. The quantity of crude oil currently being produced in this country is now such that exporting crude oil would not jeopardize America’s energy security, it would improve it.

Read the full op-ed at the Times-Picayune HERE.

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