In a historic move, Congressional leaders have negotiated a deal on a government spending bill and tax package that will bring an end to the 40-year old ban on crude oil exports.
A legacy of the Arab Oil embargo, the ban on crude oil has been a topic of debate for the past two years with supporters highlighting the significant benefits that crude oil exports can bring to the United States including eliminating market distortions, growing our economy, and strengthening our national security. Multiple members of Congress, including Senators Heidi Heitkamp (D – North Dakota) and Lisa Murkowski (R – Alaska) have long campaigned for oil exports and are now seeing the fruits of their efforts pay off. In his remarks on the deal, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R – Wisconsin) honed in on the crude exports language:
“But this week, we have completed two bipartisan agreements… First, we are lifting the government’s 40-year-old ban on crude oil exports. This is a big win for American jobs and for our energy industry. It’s a big win for our manufacturers and for our foreign policy”
While inclusion of the provision to lift the ban is a win, the omnibus bus bill still needs to be passed by the House of Representatives and the Senate, with the next hurdle surviving the White House, which in the past has issued a veto threat over stand-alone legislation lifting the crude export ban. But if President Obama wishes to avoid an embarrassing government shutdown over an amendment that will bring countless opportunities to the U.S., he should agree to sign the bill and welcome the U.S. into a modern energy age.