Senate Banking Committee’s crude export debate breaks along party lines


Congressional committee debate over the 40-year ban on exporting US-produced crude oil continued to break largely along party lines as the US Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs held its first hearing in years on the subject. Republicans on the committee called for the ban’s removal. Democrats generally opposed that idea, their positions ranging from quiet concern to loud skepticism.

“Consumers, US jobs, and economic growth could all benefit” from a rise in US-produced oil, said Chairman Richard D. Shelby (R-Ark.) at the July 28 hearing. “The export ban in place today is economically inefficient by artificially discouraging production.”

Lifting the ban also could benefit the US’s geopolitical position globally and reduce worldwide reliance on members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries as well as Russia, “not to mention Iran, which could be soon ramping up oil production under the terms of the administration’s nuclear deal,” Shelby said.
Ranking Minority Member Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) said, “I want to hear from our witnesses about the effect ending the export ban would have on prices, domestic drilling, greenhouse gas emissions, and whether it would increase pressure to drill on federal lands or other environmentally sensitive areas of the country.” (by  Nick Snow, Oil and Gas Journal)

Also see our look at the issue, "To Export or Not To Export"