Washington, D.C. – Today, the Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center released a comprehensive report on America’s growing energy abundance, which highlights how U.S. energy exports can strengthen our economy and our national security. The report, titled “Empowering America: How Energy Abundance Can Strengthen US Global Leadership,” was delivered by a task force co-chaired by Senators Lisa Murkowski (AK) and Mark Warner (VA) and co-directed by former state department energy envoys Richard Morningstar and David Goldwyn.
“I applaud Senators Murkowski and Warner for leading this task force and for the robust recommendations outlined in their well-informed report” said George Baker, executive director of Producers for American Crude Oil Exports (PACE). “The Atlantic Council’s study underscores America’s energy abundance and it speaks to the potential of our nation becoming a global energy superpower.”
The report includes sections on 1) American energy abundance and historic energy production in recent years, 2) U.S. energy security, 3) linkages between energy and security in key regions of the world, 4) key findings of the task force and 5) task force recommendations.
The key findings and recommendations from the report are explained below:
The U.S. Energy Endowment: The United States has now surpassed Russia as the world’s leading oil and gas producer.
U.S. Energy Security Interests: Domestic abundance has decreased U.S. reliance on foreign, and occasionally hostile, producers. This is of increased importance given the exceptional level of instability in the Middle East today with civil wars raging in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Libya.
Energy and National Security: Regional Perspectives: The U.S. can leverage its energy abundance on the international stage by exporting its crude oil and natural gas supply. This would protect our NATO allies from supply disruptions from Russia, ease Asian consumer’s reliance on the Middle East, and help Latin American and Caribbean countries contend with the declining exports of oil from Venezuela.
Economic and Market Benefits of the U.S. Energy Boom: While the U.S. cannot operate as a “swing producer” the same way Saudi Arabia can—it can act as a “surge producer” when markets need to be balanced quickly.
Recommendations: This study has several recommendations to help the United States use its energy abundance to support its domestic, regional and foreign policy goals. Chief among these recommendations is to lift the crude oil export ban and further lift export restrictions on liquefied natural gas (LNG).
Baker continued, “America is now the largest producer of petroleum in the world, while we are also the only major oil producing country that bans the export of oil. As this study recommends, lifting the ban on crude oil exports would strengthen our economy, help lower our gasoline prices, support jobs and strengthen our national security while accruing a wide range of geopolitical benefits to the U.S. We agree.”