Outdated Export Ban Needs to be Lifted
The 1970s were a time of turmoil for the oil industry. American reserves of crude oil were low and oil prices were inflated due to the decisions of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to withhold production. In 1975, a ban was placed on exporting American crude oil by the United States Congress. That was the story 40 years ago.
Fast forward to 2015. In the last decade, U.S. crude oil production as increased 64 percent. In that same time frame it increased over 300 percent in Ohio alone. The influx of domestic oil production is due to new technologies, such as hydraulic fracturing, allowing for the extraction of oil from shale formations.
As a result of the export ban, there is a mass surplus of unrefined crude oil that is driving down revenues significantly below that of the global market average. Removing the ban would mean higher yields for U.S. oil, thus strengthening the economic incentives to invest in domestic exploration. Additionally, studies have shown that removing the export ban would lower gasoline prices, increase GDP, create thousands of jobs, and help reduce the U.S. trade deficit.
Times have changed in the oil business and our laws regulating the industry need to change as well. It’s time for the president to stop living in the past. It’s time to let U.S. oil and gas producers compete in the global market and help keep energy costs down for the American consumer. It’s time for Congress to finish the job and lift the export ban on crude oil.