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What They’re Saying: Crude Export Ban “Undercuts U.S. Credibility”

Export of U.S. crude oil will enhance America’s geopolitical standing by supporting free trade, helping our allies and increasing our own energy security. This was the consensus from a number of lawmakers and policy experts during a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing held on Thursday, March 19, who stated that lifting the current restriction on the sale of U.S. crude oil abroad will simultaneously benefit American consumers here at home and strengthen our position globally.

Here’s what they’re saying about crude oil exports:

  • ConocoPhillips CEO lays out economic opportunity of lifting crude export ban. “It is clear that exporting ‘made in the USA’ oil will benefit consumers,” said ConocoPhillips Chief Executive Ryan Lance. “There is compelling evidence that lifting the ban will help reduce gasoline prices, while also protecting and creating jobs, and spurring economic stimulus across our nation. The studies also note that lifting the ban will provide our government with significant revenue.” (PennEnergy, 3/19/15)
  • Oil exports would give US leverage, former ambassador says. “Lifting the export ban would increase U.S. leverage in convincing international partners to adopt policies that mirror U.S. interests on Iran, Russia, free trade and even the environment,” former Amb. Carlos Pascual told the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. While most of the debate so far has focused on the economic effects of the crude export ban — and what ending it would mean both for domestic oil producers and the U.S. refiners who process it — geopolitical considerations were front and center during the panel’s hearing Thursday. “Maintaining the ban increasingly undercuts U.S. credibility in its three-decades endeavor to persuade other nations to permit free flows of energy trade,” said Pascual, who is now with the energy consultancy IHS after ambassadorships in Mexico and Ukraine and three years serving the Obama administration as a special envoy for international energy affairs. (Houston Chronicle, 3/19/15)
  • “Market conditions merit” lifting crude export ban, says former Pentagon undersecretary of defense for policy. In testimony submitted ahead of a Senate energy committee hearing on U.S. crude export policy, the Pentagon’s former undersecretary of defense for policy, Michele Flournoy, argues “policymakers in the United States should embrace these various benefits to our allies and ourselves and liberalize our crude export rules. “Market conditions merit such a step and security dividends will not be fully realized without it,” said Flournoy, co-founder of the Center for a New American Security. (Reuters, 3/19/15)
  • Former Obama Officials Say Oil Export Ban Hurts U.S. Credibility. Ending the ban “is beneficial to the markets for efficiency, for pricing and also in sending a message of support on the importance of free trade” said Elizabeth Rosenberg, a former senior adviser at the Treasury Department under President Barack Obama. Rosenberg is the director of the energy, economics and security program at the Center for a New American Security, a Washington-based group that examines national security issues. (Bloomberg, 3/19/15)
  • Sen. Murkowski: Ending Oil Export Ban holds Economic, Geopolitical Benefits for U.S. “We all recognize that the world is a very volatile place right now. But the reality is that the record surge in oil production that we’ve seen over just the past six years has provided us and our allies with the flexibility to respond to threats with economic sanctions instead of boots on the ground,” Murkowski said. “That’s a good thing and an advantage that I think we should strive to maintain. Exporting oil provides support for our friends and allies abroad and incentivizes more production here. That’s a win-win.” (Press Release, 3/19/15)
  • Lawmakers signal support for lifting crude export ban. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) […] showed a willingness to back the change but cautioned that consumers would be skeptical unless they believe that lifting the ban would lower prices at the pump and bolster U.S. energy security. “There’s got to be a way that I can go home to West Virginia and say this is good” for the country, Manchin said. He added, “I think there’s a win-win here, but we just have to find it.” Oil producers and industry analysts testified that reversing the ban could lower the price of gas by as much as 7 to 12 cents per gallon, while creating hundreds of thousands of new oil and gas sector jobs. (E&E News, 3/20/15)

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