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September 10, 2015

House Subcommittee Votes Today To End Ban on Crude Oil Exports

Matthews: If Obama Lets Iran Expand Oil Exports, So Should U.S.

DALLAS -- Innovative drilling techniques have produced a U.S. oil boom, but that economic boom could become a bust unless the U.S. is allowed to export its crude oil to other countries. Today the House Subcommittee on Energy and Power votes on a bipartisan bill sponsored by Rep. Joe Barton (R- TX) eliminating the export ban on crude oil, which would pave the way for lower energy prices, increased energy supply, and be a boost to U.S. security.

Dr. Merrill Matthews, Institute for Policy Innovation resident scholar and author of “The Case for Permitting Crude Oil Exports,” says the 1970s-era oil export ban, which turns 40 this December, is outdated and counterproductive in an age of dramatically rising U.S. oil production.

“Trade restrictions are almost always a bad idea,” said Matthews. “The U.S. is one of if not the largest producer of crude oil. President Obama's agreement with Iran will let it increase its crude oil exports while the U.S. remains in an export freeze. The president who sees no problem letting Iran expand its exports should see no problem in letting his own country do the same.”

Matthews explores in his paper, “The Case for Permitting Crude Oil Exports,” the numerous benefits of permitting crude oil exports, including:

  • Stabilizing the supply of oil and gas; 
  • Creating an economic boom with more jobs and higher wages; 
  • Increasing government revenues; 
  • Lowering the trade deficit; 
  • Improving efficiency in the refining process; and 
  • Building energy security.

“What’s in the best interest of the U.S. is a healthy energy sector and efficient markets, where the price is a reflection of undistorted supply and demand,” said Matthews. “For 40 years, the U.S. economy and foreign policy have been constrained by politically repressive, oil-producing countries. That day could be coming to an end if we have the ability to export oil.”


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