Obama stands firm against lifting oil export ban despite potential economic benefits


By threatening to veto a bill greenlighting oil exports, President Obama last week sent a powerful message to Congress and to the American public: The administration is unlikely to sign off on any measures expanding fossil fuel production and sales, even if those measures carry economic benefits for the U.S. and national security benefits for key allies around the world.

The House on Friday passed a bill that would lift the nation’s 40-year-old ban on crude oil exports, a policy put in place at a time when global shortages and the Arab oil embargo of the 1970s forced the U.S. to guard its own supply. With U.S. oil-and-gas production at an all-time high, the ban, from an economic and energy standpoint, makes little sense, supporters of reversing the policy argue.

With Friday’s vote, the House has set up a showdown with Mr. Obama on energy, pitting the White House’s climate change agenda against the bipartisan position that expanding U.S. oil-and-gas production, and allowing American fuel to be sold overseas, will benefit the nation.

Mr. Obama made clear in his veto threat that the administration will not go along with any legislation that furthers U.S. reliance on fossil fuels, and that stand comes despite the fact that the federal government’s own data have shown ending the oil export ban could lower domestic gas prices. (by Ben Wolfgang, Washington Times)