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September 17, 2015

Major Victory for U.S. Energy Security As House Committee Approves Crude Exports

  Institute for Policy Innovation

DALLAS - Today the House Energy and Commerce Committee approved HR 702, a bipartisan bill eliminating the 1970’s-era export ban on crude oil, which would lead the way to lower energy prices, increased energy supply, and be a boost to U.S. security, but the White House has announced its opposition to the measure.

The president who repeatedly oversteps his authority has this time understepped his authority by handing the crude oil export issue off to the Commerce Department," said Institute for Policy Innovation resident scholar Dr. Merrill Matthews, author of “The Case for Permitting Crude Oil Exports.”  "The clear implication is he wants to bury the effort at Commerce like he's buried the Keystone XL pipeline at the State Department.” 
Matthews also said the president who sees no problem letting Iran expand its exports should see no problem in letting his own country do the same.
“The OPEC-era crude oil export ban is outdated and counterproductive in an age of dramatically rising U.S. oil production, with the U.S. now being one of if not the largest producer of crude oil,” said Matthews. “President Obama's agreement with Iran will open the world’s markets to its crude oil exports while the U.S. remains in an export freeze.”

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.”

Merrill Matthews, Ph.D.  is resident scholar with the Institute for Policy Innovation (IPI), an independent, nonprofit public policy organization based in Dallas. He is available for interview by contacting Erin Humiston at (972) 874-5139, or


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