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Repeal the Ban on Crude Oil Exports to Sustain U.S. Energy Revolution

This week in Houston, thousands are gathering to hear from thought leaders, policymakers, engineers, industry and government leaders on the key issues facing the energy industry and importantly, ideas and solutions to tackle those challenges.

Kicking off the IHS CERAWeek conference Monday afternoon, Senator Lisa Murkowski, ConocoPhillips CEO Ryan Lance and historian Daniel Yergin discussed the future of energy policy in the United States and the need to repeal the decades old ban on crude oil exports in this new age of energy abundance.

CERAWeek Opening Plenary: The Future of US Energy Policy (click to watch)

Also highlighting this shift in thinking about energy policy this week, E&E News reported that deputy assistant to the president for energy and climate change Dan Utech in a call with reporters “observed that the current debate has shifted from worrying about excessive oil and natural gas imports to ‘debates about how much and what kind’ of exports to authorize.”

Indeed, the nature of the debate has been changed by technological advancements, new hydrocarbon discoveries, continuous improvement and American ingenuity that has generated tremendous opportunity both here at home and potentially abroad, if Congress and President Obama work together to repeal the ban on crude oil exports.

Here are a few crude oil export highlights from CERAWeek:

  • John Hess, CEO, Hess Corporation: “It’s time to give the green light to US crude oil exports. Our crude oil is trapped here with no relief in sight… What’s good for shale is good for the US economy…the crude oil export ban should be lifted.” (CERAWeek, 4/21/15)
  • U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski: “We shouldn’t lift sanctions on Iranian oil while keeping sanctions on American oil. It makes no sense.” (FuelFix, 4/20/15)
  • Anthony Rouse, Vice President of Market Analysis, Valero: “We think the U.S. Gulf Coast refiners, the mid-continent refiners, will continue to [be] competitive regardless of the environment in terms of crude exports.” That’s because U.S. refiners also have access to cheap natural gas, which they use to power their facilities, giving them a strong cost advantage over their global counterparts, Rouse said. Valero’s refineries have a $1 per barrel advantage over similar facilities in the United Kingdom and an even greater advantage than the Asian refineries, Rouse said.” (Houston Chronicle, 4/21/15)
  • Scott Sheffield, CEO, Pioneer Natural Resources: “We’re making progress [on crude oil exports]. We’re educating people. I’m becoming more and more optimistic.” (CNBC, 4/21/15)
  • Rex Tillerson, CEO, ExxonMobil: “Unfortunately, as much as our investments in technology are shaping and will shape the 21st century, our industry continues to struggle under the weight of policies that are products of 1970s thinking.” (FuelFix, 4/21/15)
  • Ryan Lance, CEO, ConocoPhillips: “The current export ban on crude oil is an anti-consumer policy because lifting the export ban would increase global oil supplies that would in turn drive gasoline prices down because we know gasoline prices trade as a global commodity.” (Bloomberg, 4/20/15)
  • Harold Hamm, CEO, Continental Resources: “Here we are thinking about lifting the sanctions on Iran and letting them export, and yet here we have sanctions in America that we can’t export our oil. What’s going on?” (CNBC, 4/21/15)

Also this week, the San Antonio Express-News – in the heart of the prolific Eagle Ford Shale area– was the latest newspaper editorial board to weigh-in in support of crude oil exports while U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar (TX-D) publically endorsed full-repeal of this decades old policy.

  • San Antonio Express-News Editorial Board: Lift the ban on crude oil exports. “Times and circumstances have changed. 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.” (Express-News, 4/21/15)
  • Congressman Cuellar: Lifting the ban would create jobs, and spur economic growth. “Oil and energy technology has improved drastically over recent decades, yet we still have laws on the books from 40 years ago governing this resource. It’s time the crude oil ban is lifted, allowing the U.S. to compete in the global marketplace and reap the benefits of doing so, including hundreds of thousands of jobs—many of which [are] right at home in Texas.” (Press Release, 4/20/15)
  • AEI’s Mark Perry: Lift the ban on crude oil exports. “The current export ban represents an unacceptable repudiation of free trade, one of the bedrock economic principles of US foreign policy. Rescinding the ban would save U.S. consumers more than $200 billion over the next decade by reducing gasoline prices according to IHS, while generating new investment in U.S. oil production, creating jobs and revenue, and generally bolstering the nation’s economy with an energy-driven stimulus. Let’s make it happen.” (The Hill, 4/20/15)

See what other editorial boards support crude oil exports HERE and learn more about crude oil exports by visiting www.OilExports.com.

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