With Veto Threat, Oil Export Effort Runs Out of Gas


Saying lawmakers should instead work to curb the causes of climate change, the White House on Wednesday threatened to veto legislation that would end the nation's 40-year-old ban on exporting crude oil, effectively marking the end of the road for one of the most concerted campaigns in recent memory to allow U.S. oil to be sold overseas.

"Legislation to remove crude export restrictions is not needed at this time," the Obama administration said. "Congress should be focusing its efforts on supporting our transition to a low-carbon economy."

The House of Representatives was scheduled to vote Friday on a bill that would end the crude oil export ban, which was put in place under President Gerald Ford in 1975 to insulate the U.S. from oil shocks like those caused by the Arab oil embargoes. A similar measure was introduced in the Senate. But while the efforts were a top priority for congressional Republicans and the oil and gas lobby, their success was unlikely: As recently as September, the White House said it opposed efforts to lift the ban, and supporters on the Hill almost certainly lack the votes to override a veto. (by Alan Neuhauser, USA Today)