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Secretary of Energy: Gas Prices Won’t Increase with Crude Oil Exports

This morning, while testifying before the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on the Department of Energy’s FY2016 budget request, Secretary Ernest Moniz, in response to a question from Senator John Barrasso on crude oil exports, noted that his Department has studied the issue and found that there would be no to “minor decreases” in the price at the pump because the “gasoline price is indexed more to the Brent benchmark.”

Partial transcript below; play video to view exchange.

Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz (partial transcript):

“First of all, we are an enormous oil product exporter. We must [export] 3.5 to 4 million barrels a day [of petroleum products]. I think we are net 2.5 million barrels a day exporters of [petroleum] product. That’s an enormous change, it’s almost a reversal of sign from a few years ago. So we are exporting effectively through products. We are also exporting things like natural gas liquids, propane etc.

“In terms of crude oil, the other perspective is we are 7 million barrels per day importers still of crude oil. So I think this question of exports also is to be taken in the context that we are actually enormous importers. I understand the next level of argument about matching refineries… those are the kinds of analysis that will be forthcoming.

“I will just mention one that the EIA (Energy Information Administration) did and published around impacts on gasoline prices. And their conclusion was, probably none to possibly minor decreases in domestic prices largely because the gasoline price is indexed more to the Brent benchmark.”

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