Government Report Finds Economic Benefits of Oil Exports


WASHINGTON—A long-awaited study by the Obama administration has concluded that lifting the nation’s four-decade ban on exports of U.S. oil wouldn’t raise American gasoline prices and could even help lower them, raising the stakes in the debate over whether to lift or relax the ban.

The report, issued by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, an analytic division of the Energy Department, is expected to provide momentum to efforts by the oil industry and its supporters in Congress to end the ban. The effort has gained traction in Washington this year, though such a change still faces steep hurdles before it could ultimately be adopted.

The conclusions were widely expected by the industry and policy makers after the division issued a series of other studies leading up to the final one over the past year laying the groundwork for the findings.

An executive summary of the report, obtained by The Wall Street Journal, said lifting the ban could actually produce small benefits for the U.S. economy. The full report is expected to be released later Tuesday morning, according to a spokesman for EIA. (by AMY HARDER and CHRISTIAN BERTHELSEN, Wall Street Journal)