“The United States is part of a global system that has a strong presumption against policies of this sort.” – Former Treasury Secretary and Harvard Economist Larry Summers, commenting on the crude oil export ban
At a House Foreign Affairs subcommittee hearing this week, members of Congress and expert witnesses testified to the strong energy and national security benefits of crude oil exports – stressing that the United States is a country that advocates for open markets and the same should hold true when it comes to U.S. crude oil export policy.
From the hearing:
While national security and trade were featured prominently at the hearing, Chairman Ted Poe noted that 70,000 Texans have lost their jobs since the decline in rig count began late last year. Due to the ban on crude oil exports, U.S. producers are required to sell the crude oil they produce to customers in the U.S. at a discounted price. The crude oil is then refined into petroleum products and sold on the global market, at global prices. (See more on WTI vs. Brent 101).
Following the House hearing, Senators Lisa Murkowski, John McCain, and Bob Corker published an op-ed in Foreign Policy Magazine calling for an end to the decades old ban crude exports as a means to support our trading partners and allies around the world by providing them with a stable and reliable source of energy.
From the op-ed:
“Today, U.S. allies are once again under threat and, once again, our nation’s resource abundance places us in a position to render vital assistance… The benefits to global security of allowing oil shipments to our trading partners are obvious and indisputable. Our friends in Asia, eager to comply with Western sanctions against Iran, would have a new alternative source for their energy needs.”
Also this week at a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing on EIA’s Annual Energy Outlook, committee Chairman Lisa Murkowski noted the link between the U.S.’s own “domestic sanctions” on oil exports and the possibility of additional Iranian oil entering the global market as a result of sanctions being lifted.
Leveraging America’s vast natural resources to advance U.S. foreign policy objectives – while creating jobs and spurring investment here at home –will provide greater stability to energy markets and reduce price volatility while promoting free trade and limiting the geopolitical influence of other large producing countries.