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Experts Agree: U.S. Crude Oil Exports will Enhance National Security

At a Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee hearing this week, witnesses stressed the need for the U.S. to end the decades-old crude oil export ban in order to enhance national security and protect our geopolitical interests.  Policy experts pointed out that lifting the ban would provide economic benefits here at home, help support foreign policy goals, offer global allies a safe supply of energy and promote free and open world markets.

  • Robert McNally, President, The Rapidan Group: “The U.S. energy boom is a national security and foreign policy blessing. Our ability and will to export energy strengthens our global influence; reassures allies while giving them leverage with major producers like Russia; bolsters free trade, especially for strategic commodities; and reinforces efforts to dissuade Tehran from developing a nuclear weapons capability. As our energy circumstances have changed, so too should our energy policy.”
  • David Gordon, Adjunct Senior Fellow, Center for a New American Security: “In a period of tremendous geopolitical uncertainty, and when many questions exist about the future role of the United States as a global energy player and world leader, Washington has a unique window of opportunity to strengthen domestic economic growth, energy market stability, U.S. global leadership and open trade relations. At a time of lower prices, we need to stop discriminating against U.S. producers. Removing the outdated and detrimental limits on the export of U.S. natural gas and crude oil will advance these goals. It will deepen trading ties with strategic allies, including those in Europe and Northeast Asia. It will improve the economic position and energy market stability of our nation and partners abroad, and allow the U.S. to more effectively spur and lead multilateral action to counter international security threats.”
  • Jamie Webster, Senior Director, IHS: “Maintaining the ban increasingly undercuts U.S. credibility in its three-decades endeavor to persuade other nations to permit free flows of energy trade and not constrain trade in strategic commodities with political restrictions and resource nationalism… More importantly, continuation of this ban hurts American consumers, causes an unnecessary drag on American productivity, and does not let the United States exploit fully the national security benefits from our energy resurgence.”

U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY) noted in his opening remarks:

“The geopolitical benefits of U.S. energy exports are not limited to Europe. Whether we talk about the United States being an alternative to Iran’s crude oil exports for countries like China, India, Japan or South Korea, which would help cut off a vital supply of funding to the Iranian regime. Or, the United States supplying natural gas to help boost economic development for countries in the Western Hemisphere dealing with the uncertainty of Venezuela’s energy exports and subsidies. Or, the United States strengthening engagement and trade with East Asian nations. U.S. energy exports can provide important national security benefits and strengthen America’s foreign policy leadership across the globe.”

 The national security implications of keeping the ban in place are further outlined in a new report, “Cross-Currents: Iranian Oil and the U.S. Export Ban,” released by U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), chairman of the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.  The report concludes that sanctions on Iranian oil should not be lifted unless the ban on U.S. crude oil exports is also lifted.

The report explains how sanctions on Iran and U.S. energy production are inextricably tied together. Rising U.S. oil production has allowed the international sanctions on Iran to be successful and curbed Iranian oil production by over one million barrels of oil per day.  However, if the sanctions were to be lifted, Iranian oil would be reaching global markets while U.S. oil exports would still be prohibited. The report notes:

“Lifting sanctions will boost Iranian oil exports at a time when federal law and regulations generally prohibit American oil exports…such a shift would grant Iranian oil producers access to global markets but deny it to American producers…the general prohibition on exporting domestic crude oil amounts to a de facto sanctions regime against U.S. producers.”

There is growing consensus that the U.S. ban on crude oil exports needs to be lifted.  This report, along with new testimony from policy experts, adds to the large body of research pointing to the benefits of removing the ban and embracing America’s role as an energy superpower. Learn more at www.OilExports.com.

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