Texas lawmaker Barton backs lifting oil export ban despite peers’ misgivings

Valerie Volcovici | Reuters

(Reuters) – A senior U.S. Congressman from Texas has come out in full support of the United States lifting the 40-year old ban on crude oil exports, putting him at odds with fellow House Republicans wary of weighing in on the controversial issue.

Rep. Joe Barton, who until now has maintained a relatively neutral public stance on a topic that has divided Republican members of the House energy and commerce committee, told Reuters in a statement that the time was right for the United States to overhaul its long-standing restrictions on exporting crude oil.

Full Story

Lifting U.S. oil export ban will lift sector credit scores -S&P

Valerie Volcovici | Reuters

(Reuters) – Producers, pipeline and storage operators, and oilfield service companies will get a credit ratings boost if the United States lifts its ban on most crude oil exports, the ratings agency Standard & Poor’s said on Tuesday.

Ratings for oil refiners, who have enjoyed the ample supplies of crude flowing from the U.S. shale oil boom, might suffer slightly if the ban is scrapped, the agency added.

Full Story

Oil Export Ban is Bad Economics

Robert Murphy | Institute for Energy Research

The sharp increase in U.S. crude oil production over the last few years has opened a discussion on whether the long-standing ban on exports should be rescinded. The issue is complex because many conservative supporters of the market economy nonetheless are wary of allowing free trade in this particular commodity. Nonetheless, the logic of free markets works here as in other arenas: Arbitrary government restrictions on trade make Americans poorer. Ironically, in this particular case the ban on crude oil exports might actually make gasoline prices higher for Americans.

Full Story

America’s Oil Export Policy Is Stuck in the ’70s

Thomas Tunstall | The Wall Street Journal

The unexpected increase in the production of shale oil, a light oil called condensate and natural gas in the U.S. has upended many assumptions about the U.S. energy market. As the oil and gas bonanza continues, the U.S. ban on crude-oil exports looks increasingly outdated, arbitrary and economically damaging. With Europe poised to endanger its gas supply by imposing more sanctions on its major supplier Russia, the possibility of energy exports from America takes on an important security dimension too.

Full Story

Making Sense of Shifting Crude Oil Export Policy

Randy Leonard | Roll Call

While the oil industry is still sorting out the meaning of a recent Commerce Department decision to allow exports of certain petroleum liquids, the movement toward loosening restrictions on the crude oil trade has taken a faster than expected trajectory.

A year ago, the prospect of relaxing a decades-old prohibition got little mention – but last week it was a central subject at an Energy Information Administration conference.

We have more on the policy shift in a Policy Focus feature at Roll Call.

Full Story

U.S. oil exports have been banned for 40 years. Is it time for that to change?

Brad Plumer | The Washington Post

The United States can export coal, gasoline, and (sometimes) natural gas. But, for the most part, U.S. companies aren’t really allowed to export crude oil. That’s the law.

Is it time to lift that ban on crude exports? Some people think so — especially now that the United States is producing more oil than it has in decades. Overturning the ban, in theory, would allow companies to sell even more oil and keep expanding.

Full Story

The Case for Allowing U.S. Crude Oil Exports

Blake Clayton | Council on Foreign Relations

Federal lawmakers should overturn the ban on exporting crude oil produced in the United States. As recently as half a decade ago, oil companies had no interest in exporting U.S. crude oil, but that has changed. Oil production has grown more in the United States over the past five years than anywhere else in the world, even as domestic oil consumption has declined. With these changes has come a widening gap among the types of oil that U.S. fields produce, the types that U.S. refiners need, the products that U.S. consumers want, and the infrastructure in place to transport the oil. Allowing companies to export U.S. crude oil as the market dictates would help solve this mismatch. Under federal law, however, it is illegal for companies to export crude oil in all but a few circumstances. Over the past year, the Department of Commerce granted licenses to several oil companies to export a small amount of U.S. crude oil. But these opaque, ad hoc exceptions are insufficient. Removing all proscriptions on crude oil exports, except in extraordinary circumstances, will strengthen the U.S. economy and promote the efficient development of the country’s energy sector.

Full Story