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Experts Agree: Crude oil exports will grow the economy

Allowing U.S. oil producers to sell crude oil to customers in countries who are trading partners would generate significant benefits for American consumers and the economy – creating hundreds of thousands of new jobs, lowering fuel prices at the pump, increasing investment and GDP, reduce our trade deficit and enhance our national security.

Here’s what the experts have to say:

Editorial Boards Consumer Benefits
Investments, Jobs & Domestic Production U.S. Trade Deficit & Trade Policy
GDP and Government Revenues Thought Leaders, Think Tanks & Columnists

Editorial Boards Support Crude Oil Exports

Wall Street Journal: “The best guarantee of energy security is robust American production capacity. Allowing exports will at the margin provide more incentive to drill. By the way, consumers don’t purchase crude oil. They buy refined products, of which the U.S. is already a net exporter.” (source)

Wall Street Journal: “The oil export ban is an example of self-defeating resource nationalism that hurts U.S. investment and the living standards of American workers. It was a bad idea in the 1970s, and today it is merely one more obstacle to America’s energy renaissance.” (source)

Wall Street Journal: “If the political class wants to do more than wring its hands, it could save American jobs and investment by lifting the ban on oil exports—and soon.” (source)

Washington Post: “The export ban was a desperate ploy in the 1970s to control commodities markets amid spikes in oil prices induced by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries. Keeping it in place now is an economically incoherent policy, particularly when removing it would encourage an industry that is transforming the fortunes of large swaths of the nation. Congress should lift the ban entirely. Until then, Commerce should allow as much oil as it can to flow through the ban’s exceptions.” (source)

Washington Post: “Keeping it in place now is an economically incoherent policy, particularly when removing it would encourage an industry that is transforming the fortunes of large swaths of the nation. Congress should lift the ban entirely.” (source)

Financial Times: “US should end energy protectionism… Unless the export ban is lifted, the U.S. could face the paradox of a glut of light domestic crude in the Gulf region, even as millions of barrels per day of heavy oil imports are still coming into the country.” (source)

The Economist: “Even though fracking has boosted America’s oil output by two-thirds in just four years, the country still bans the export of oil and restricts exports of natural gas, a legacy of the oil shocks of the 1970s—and a boondoggle for American refiners and petrochemical firms.” (source)

Bloomberg View: “The way to lessen U.S. vulnerability, however, is not to withdraw from the world oil market altogether (if that were even possible). It’s to sell more of the U.S.’s expanding crude stores abroad. As a bigger player, the U.S. would have a greater influence on price.” (source)

Bloomberg View: “By increasing exports even as it continues importing oil, the U.S. can exercise maximum flexibility in world oil markets. It can keep U.S. oil flowing, encouraging further exploration and drilling. And it can help maintain relatively stable gasoline prices, because these are largely determined by world markets.” (source)

USA Today: “An end to the export ban is a heavy lift in a congressional election year, but politicians who defend the ban shouldn’t be allowed to hide behind the argument that it helps consumers. Like leisure suits and other vestiges of the 1970s, it deserves to fade away.” (source)

USA Today: “But whatever use there was for an export ban in the ’70s has long disappeared…Four decades have passed since the energy crisis. It’s time to adopt policies that fit the times. (source)

Investor’s Business Daily: “One obvious way to disrupt those now threatening to launch Paris-like attacks in London, Washington, D.C., New York and elsewhere is to produce more oil right here in the U.S. — depriving terrorists in the Mideast of a major part of their revenue stream.” (source)

Chicago Tribune: “Like free trade in general, selling American oil overseas would be good for our economy. It would make the oil market more efficient, encourage a build-out of the U.S. energy network and stabilize prices over time for consumers.” (source)

 Boston Globe: “Lift outdated oil export ban… Since the 1970s, federal law has prohibited oil companies from exporting most oil drilled in the United States, a ban that was supposed to promote energy independence. It didn’t… because lifting the American ban would probably slightly reduce the world price of oil, and because gas prices follow the world price, lifting the ban could push prices down.” (source)

 Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: “Repealing America’s 1970s-era ban on oil exports is what its shale oil industry needs to continue thriving amid depressed global oil prices — and what U.S. consumers need for lower gasoline prices to continue.” (source)

 Denver Post: “Soaring U.S. production — from 5.5 million barrels of crude per day five years ago to 9.2 million today — is one of the major reasons the world price of oil fell so dramatically last year. But U.S. producers could have an even larger impact on world supplies and thus prices if they could directly export oil rather having to refine it here first — particularly because many refineries were set up to handle heavier crude imported from abroad.” (source)

Denver Post: “The ban is outdated, and congressional leaders were wise to include a measure lifting it in their bipartisan spending measure that will be voted on this week.  There are critics who think oil production should never be encouraged even if it means more jobs and a better balance of payments. There are others who worry that more exports could raise the price of gasoline at home. But pump prices reflect world markets, and this nation would be foolish to forgo the economic benefits of expanded exports.” (source)

Houston Chronicle: “Removing regulatory barriers will lead to a broader market, meaning more stable prices as demand is allowed to match supply. Hoarding our energy wealth at home will only end up backfiring, suppressing prices and killing production, all while denying some much-needed energy to our global allies in Asia and Europe.” (source)

Washington Examiner: “If you like paying less for gasoline, there is a clear path Obama and the new Congress can take to keep prices down. Simply remove government obstacles — including everything from slow permitting processes on pipelines to the existing ban on U.S. oil exports — and it will immediately exert some amount of downward pressure on oil prices. Such actions can reduce shale producers’ costs, expand their customer base, and make OPEC’s goal of slowing down U.S. production that much less realistic. (source)

Detroit News: “Removing the 1970s ban would stimulate domestic energy production, keep the fracking-induced job boom going and increase national economic output.” (source)

Massachusetts Republican: “At that moment, the notion of selling some of our own precious crude oil onto the global market seemed unimaginable. And so, the ban. An awful lot has changed since the disco days. Yet the export ban remains in place.” (source)

The Oklahoman: “At the time, the idea was that the United States needed all the domestic fuel it could get. That reasoning doesn’t hold true anymore. The ban has long been obsolete.” (source)

The Oklahoman: “The thinking was that this country needed all the domestic fuel it could get. Why allow any of it to leave our shores? That was then. Domestic supplies are now abundant. The export ban is beyond obsolete. It’s time to open the spigots.” (source)

The Oklahoman: “Opponents of lifting the ban contend that doing so would increase gasoline prices. Not so, because the price at the pump is based on a global market. Numerous studies have shown that exporting U.S. oil wouldn’t drive up our gas prices.” (source)

Las Vegas Review Journal:Not only would lifting the ban help our economy and boost our global influence, it would also help our political allies. (source)

San Antonio Express-News: The U.S. is scheduled to overtake Saudi Arabia and Russia in oil production. Hydraulic fracturing reinvigorated the domestic oil industry. New markets could mean even more production. And that’s jobs saved and created. Texas’ congressional delegation should be on the front lines in this fight. Congress should lift the ban. (source)

San Antonio Express–News: Obama should not veto legislation that allows this important U.S. industry to better compete. Texas will be a winner. (source)

Oil & Gas Journal: “The US should scrap its antique prohibition against the export of domestically produced crude oil. The sole argument for retaining the export ban is unsound.” (source)

Orange County Register: “Get the U.S. back in the oil-exporting game… We agree with the Texas lawmaker [Joe Barton] that the 40-year ban on U.S. crude exports should be repealed. It would be at once good for the U.S. economy and good for national security.” (source)

Charleston Daily Mail: “Lifting that ban would not just help U.S.-based oil producers create more American jobs and revenue, but would give the U.S. considerably more non-military influence in foreign policy.” (source)

Beckley Register-Herald: “The 40-year-old laws put in place by the United States during the 1970s regarding energy exports need to be reviewed. It’s good to see West Virginia’s senators at the forefront of getting them changed.” (source)

Grand Forks Herald: “It all comes back to our original question: On balance, has the Oil Boom been a net plus for North Dakota? For that matter, has it benefited the United States? The answer to both questions clearly is “yes.” Which means Congress should lift the oil-export ban, because doing so would make a good thing even better.” (source)

Tyler Morning Telegraph: “With the restrictions in place, oil companies are pressured by simple economics to fund exploration and development in other countries. With the export ban lifted, those companies would inevitably do more in the U.S.” (source)

Longview News Journal: “The situation could be alleviated to some degree if oil producers were given the ability to export crude oil, which has been largely banned since the first oil crisis in the 1970s. This is a controversial subject and any lifting of the ban must come with controls but it might help stabilize the market. We hope Congress gives it thoughtful consideration.” (source)

Midland Reporter-Telegram: “To our leaders in Washington: Put American producers on the same playing field as those from Iran. That is the right thing to do.” (source)

Tulsa World: “There simply are no good arguments to continue the ban. Republicans, Democrats and President Barack Obama support increasing exports to improve the economy. Why should crude oil be an exception? It’s time to strike the 40-year ban. Give U.S. oil producers a level playing field and American consumers will be the beneficiaries.” (source)

Wheeling News-Register. “Meanwhile, U.S. energy policy is the laughingstock of the world. It simply makes no sense. In part because it places so many barriers in the way of domestic oil production, it puts us at the mercy of countries such as those in OPEC, from which we continue to import huge quantities of oil. That is despite the fact the U.S. has become the world’s leading oil producer.” (source)

The Greeley Tribune: “America will continue to ramp up oil and gas production regardless of limitations on exporting because of the success of fracking and horizontal drilling. It certainly makes sense to export what we don’t need domestically to stabilize the global economy by helping keep energy costs down worldwide.” (source)

Washington Times: “Much has changed since the era of Jimmy Carter to make the ban obsolete. Oil men have figured out how to extract the juice from previously inaccessible places.” The untapped potential oil sheikdom of America.” (source)

Boston Herald: “It really is time to end the prohibition. It never made much sense except to allow politicians to argue that they had done something for American consumers.” (source)

Richmond Times-Dispatch: “U.S. law forbids the export of crude oil, as it has since the 1970s. A move is afoot in Congress to lift the ban. After all, once sanctions on Iran are lifted, the U.S. will remain the only major oil-producing country prohibited from exporting its crude.” (source)

Williamsport Sun Gazette:  “A bill introduced in the Senate would repeal the ban on exports of American oil. Doing that would encourage more domestic drilling, providing even more oil. It would create new jobs. It would allow U.S. diplomats to use energy as a weapon, perhaps aiding our allies.” (source)

The Daily World: “The current ban is the product of the Nixon and Ford administrations, an era when OPEC put a stranglehold on the global oil market and threatened to shut down the U.S. economy. Four decades have passed, and U.S. ingenuity has enabled us to recapture our prowess as an oil producer.” (source)

The Advertiser: “Should Russia, Iran and other oil-producing states gain world market share while the U.S., unable to export crude oil, lags behind? No. Should the U.S. help free up the Iranian oil industry but continue to restrain the U.S. oil industry? Of course not.” (source)

The Tampa Tribune: The phenomenal output of oil in this country in the past several years has shown the many ways this country benefits from domestic production. Opening the door to crude exports is the logical next step. (source)

Las Vegas Review-Journal: “Because of the export ban and a refining capacity that has not increased relative to oil production, there is a glut of U.S. oil in storage that overseas refiners would buy if they could. The bill before the House would allow such sales to occur and would trigger increased U.S. oil production and hundreds of billions of dollars in new private-sector investment around the country.” (source)

Albuquerque Journal: “In a changing energy world, where the United States is transitioning to an all-of-the-above energy strategy, does it make any sense to remain bound by a 40-year-old oil export ban because you don’t approve of fossil fuels? Of course not.” (source)

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Consumers Save with Crude Oil Exports

Columbia University: “[W]e estimate lifting current crude export restrictions could …reduce domestic gasoline prices by between 0 and 12 cents per gallon.” (source)

Congressional Budget Office: “U.S. consumers of gasoline, diesel fuel, and other oil products would probably benefit along with domestic oil producers, if the ban was repealed…” (source)

Government Accountability Office: “A decrease in consumer fuel prices could occur because they tend to follow international crude oil prices rather than domestic crude oil prices, according to the studies and most of the stakeholders. If domestic crude oil exports caused international crude oil prices to decrease, consumer fuel prices could decrease as well.” (source)

Energy Information Administration: “Gasoline is a globally traded commodity and, as a result, prices and changes in prices are highly correlated across global spot markets… The effect that a relaxation of current limitations on U.S. crude oil exports would have on U.S. gasoline prices would likely depend on its effect on international crude oil prices, such as Brent, rather than its effect on domestic crude prices.” (source)

IHS Energy: “Since US gasoline is priced off global gasoline prices, not domestic crude prices, the reduction will flow back into lower prices at the pump – reducing the gasoline price 8 cents a gallon. The savings for motorists is $265 billion over the 2016 – 2030 period.” (source)

ICF International: Lowered prices as a result of the crude export ban “could save American consumers up to $5.8 billion per year, on average, over the 2015 – 2035 period.” (source)

Resources for the Future: “A better allocation of refinery activity will result in more gasoline production, which will lower gasoline prices.” (source)

Dallas Federal Reserve Bank: “U.S. consumers also stand to benefit from lower retail fuel prices.” (source)

Brookings Institution: “The increase in U.S. oil production makes world oil prices fall. Accordingly, so do U.S. gasoline and diesel prices, at least temporarily. This lowers the costs of production for all kinds of businesses and makes households better off.” (source)

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Crude Oil Exports Increases Investment, Jobs, Domestic Production

Columbia University: “Lifting current restrictions on crude oil exports would likely lead to higher domestic production of 0 to 1.2 million b/d on average between 2015 and 2025.” (source)

Congressional Budget Office: “[I]ncreases in oil and gas production… have boosted U.S. economic output and federal receipts and will continue to do so. The further increases in production that would result from the changes in export policies considered here would also have positive economic and budgetary effects…” (source)

American Council for Capital Formation: “If our leaders will embrace an up-to-date crude oil export policy to match today’s energy reality, our economy, job creation, and U.S. competitiveness will be strengthened with our trade deficit and gasoline prices predicted to fall.”  (source)

IHS Energy: “Lifting the export ban and allowing free trade will, in our base case, increase US production from 8.2 million [barrels per day] B/D currently to 11.2 million B/D.” (source)

ICF International: “With crude exports, U.S. oil production is expected to grow faster and result in incremental U.S. oil production of between 110,000 – 500,000 barrels per day in 2020.” (source)

Dallas Federal Reserve Bank: “Over longer term, U.S. crude oil producers would receive higher prices. In response, they would produce more oil than they would have if the ban were in place.” (source)

Brookings Institution: “With greater profits, producers invest in producing more oil in the United States, about 1.3 million to 2.9 million barrels per day more in 2020 than under the ban, assuming the ban is lifted in 2015.” (source)

IHS Energy: “Total US jobs increase due to free trade will be, on average, 394,000,” while “peak job creation in 2018 is nearly 1 million.” (source)

ICF International: “The U.S. Economy could gain up to 300,000 jobs in 2020 when crude exports are allowed.” (source)

Brookings Institution: “Lifting the ban on crude oil exports from the United States will boost U.S. economic growth, wages, employment, trade, and overall welfare.” (source)

IHS Energy: Lifting the export ban would “add investment of nearly $750 billion.” (source)

ICF International: “An expansion of crude exports would result in $15.2 – $70.2 billion in additional investment in U.S. exploration, development and production in crude oil between 2015 and 2020.” (source)

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Crude Oil Exports Will Improve U.S. Trade Deficit & Trade Policy

Government Accountability Office: “Removing export restrictions is expected to increase the size of the economy, with implications for employment, investment, public revenue, and trade. For example, removing restrictions is expected to contribute to further declines in net crude oil imports, reducing the U.S. trade deficit.” (source)

Progressive Policy Institute: “U.S. oil and gas exports to the rest of the world are constrained by obsolete laws spawned during the ‘energy crisis’ of the 1970s… lawmakers should be using their political capital to repeal those laws and allow U.S. producers to freely trade oil and gas on world markets, like any other commodity.” (source)

Columbia University: “As a matter of principal, moreover, crude export restrictions are inconsistent with the US enjoying the benefits of petroleum trade and the US commitment to free and open markets.” (source)

Council on Foreign Relations: “Republicans and Democrats alike, including President Obama, express support for boosting U.S. exports in general. Crude oil should be no exception.” (source)

ICF International: “Lifting crude oil export restrictions contributes to expanded U.S. exports. This could narrow the U.S. trade deficit by $22.3 billion in 2020.” (source)

Resources for the Future: “All parties can agree that lifting the ban confers some advantages to the United States as a whole. It would improve our trade balance and provide us with greater geopolitical leverage.” (source)

Brookings Institution: “[A]llowing goods to flow into the international market gives buyers access to competitive prices and sellers access to world markets while enhancing free trade.” (source)

Council on Foreign Relations: “Federal lawmakers should overturn the ban on exporting crude oil produced in the United States… Liberalizing the crude oil export regime would advance U.S. foreign policy.” (source)

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Crude Oil Exports Boost U.S. GDP, Government Revenues

IHS Energy: “The higher US oil production resulting from a lifting of the ban will […] increase GDP by $135 billion.” (source)

ICF International: “U.S. GDP is estimated to increase by $38.1 billion in 2020 if expanded crude exports were allowed.” (source)

Brookings Institution: Lifting the crude export ban “will have a positive impact on GDP and welfare” and in every case analyzed, “there are positive percentage change impacts on GDP.” (source)

IHS Energy: “Government revenues from corporate, personal and energy-related taxes and royalties are expected to increase under free trade policy. The cumulative addition to revenue is $1.3 trillion from 2016 through 2030.” (source)

ICF International: “U.S. federal, state, and local tax receipts attributable to GDP increases from expanding crude oil exports could reach $13.5 billion in 2020.” (source)

Aspen Institute: “Lifting the ban on crude oil exports has significant positive and durable effects on GDP, aggregate employment and income.” (source)

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Thought Leaders, Thinks Tanks, Columnists

Tom Donilon, former Obama Administration National Security Advisor: “The US has consistently opposed efforts by countries to manipulate their exports…By allowing exports, we permit production decisions in the United States to be made fully on the basis of market forces rather than being influenced by artificially imposed regulatory constraints…This in turn will increase diversity of supply, increase competition, reduce volatility and lower prices in global markets.” (source)

Carlos Pascual, former State Department official: “The ban [is] hurting Washington’s credibility on the international stage, particularly on related issues such as free trade, sanctions on Iran and even climate change. “If the basic point is to say to countries that we have to (work) together to put global interests and concerns above short-term domestic action,” Pascual said. “The only way to maintain credibility is if you do it yourself.” (source)

Jason Bordoff, former energy and climate adviser to President Obama: “Easing energy export restrictions does not raise gasoline prices for consumers.” (source)

Daniel Yergin, Pulitzer Prize winning author and historian: “The intellectual case has become so strong that there’s no rationale for (the export ban).” (source)

Larry Summers, former economic policy adviser to Presidents Obama and Clinton: “I believe that the question of whether the United States should have a substantially more permissive policy with respect to the export of crude oil and with respect to the export of natural gas is easy. The answer is affirmative. The merits are as clear as the merits with respect to any significant public policy issue that I have ever encountered.” (source)

Thomas Friedman, Pulitzer Prize winning author and journalist: “[T]he necessary impactful thing that America should do at home now is for the president and Congress to lift our self-imposed ban on U.S. oil exports, which would significantly dent the global high price of crude oil.” (source)

Steve Rattner, former counselor to the Treasury Department in the Obama administration: “Energy policy should not be driven by emotion. Paradoxically, the fastest way to reduce our dependence on foreign sources of energy is to speed the export of crude oil and natural gas.” (source)

General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff: “An energy independent and net exporter of energy as a nation has the potential to change the security environment around the world – notably in Europe and in the Middle East.” (source)

Ernest Moniz, U.S. Secretary of Energy: “Those restrictions on exports were born, as was the Department of Energy and the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, on oil disruptions. There are lots of issues in the energy space that deserve some new analysis and examination in the context of what is now an energy world that is no longer like the 1970s.” (source)

Amy Myers Jaffe, University of California: “[T]he United States should continue to actively support open markets and free trade in energy and to do so, it cannot restrict its own energy exports.” (source)

Institute of the Americas: “There is no better time to contemplate a major policy overhaul such as lifting the crude oil export ban…” (source)

Heritage Foundation: “Americans will stand to benefit from a more efficient global oil market through lower prices and an increase in economic activity.” (source)

William O’Keefe, CEO, George C. Marshall Institute: “The United States has long embraced the principles of market based economics, and Americans strongly support open and honest trade. There is no reason we should exclude the energy sector, one of our strongest assets, from being part of that.”(source)

David Porter, Texas Railroad Commissioner: “Studies show that if Congress and the Obama administration repealed the decades-old prohibition on crude oil exports, domestic energy production would increase along with GDP, job growth and capital investment, all while reducing our national trade deficit…”(source)

Chris Tomlinson, Business Columnist, Houston Chronicle: “Those who oppose oil exports claim that exporting American oil will raise the price of gasoline. That’s simply not true. The price of gasoline follows the price of Brent, not WTI. American refiners are allowed to export gasoline, diesel and jet fuel to the global market, and that’s what sets the price for those commodities. Those exports also repudiate the argument that somehow selling U.S. crude will hurt America’s energy security. Nothing could be further from the truth, since petroleum is traded on a global commodity market.” (source)

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