The ongoing deliberations in Congress over the proposed Iran nuclear deal have once again turned the discussion towards efforts in our nation’s capital to lift the 40-year-old ban on exporting U.S. crude oil. To explore the building momentum around the issue, the National Journal hosted a forum with the American Petroleum Institute (API) consisting of elected officials from both parties along with industry experts, all of whom weighed in on the economic and geopolitical impact of lifting the 1970’s ban.
Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D-North Dakota) was one of the event’s keynote speakers in which she spoke in favor of lifting the export ban, emphasizing an increase in American jobs and overall global supply as well as a positive result for consumerism. “Fundamentally, commodities have to find their market. If we are going to be successful in America, if we are going to be successful tapping into a global economy where 95 percent of potential consumers live outside the United States of America, we cannot irrationally restrict exports of anything. There is absolutely no logic to not lifting this ban,” Senator Heitkamp told the crowd.
Senator Heitkamp’s fellow North Dakotan, Republican Senator John Hoeven, was also a keynote speaker at the event echoing Senator Heitkamp comments and also stressing the national security benefits that would come as a result of lifting the ban. Senator Hoeven highlighted how the perils of our allies continuing to be dependent on other nations’ supply of crude oil, specifically mentioning OPEC, Russia, and Venezuela, stating, “In order for America to become energy secure we need to make the right policy changes so we can grow our industry.”
The House Energy and Commerce Committee is scheduled to vote on eliminating the ban this Thursday and now the Wall Street Journal is reporting that the full U.S. House of Representatives plans to vote on crude oil exports, possibly before the end of the month.
It is important that the U.S. reaps the full benefits of our abundant supply of energy by allowing crude oil exports. Doing so will lead to an increase in jobs, overall sense of energy security, and overall benefit American consumerism. Looking ahead, all eyes will be on the House, then the Senate, to ensure this opportunity becomes a reality and does not go to waste. Now is the time to take action and for our elected leaders in Washington to lift the ban on U.S. crude oil exports.