Bill Would Enable US to Export Crude Oil

Tuesday, 01 Apr 2014 07:40 PM

By Jason Devaney

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A Republican congressman wants the United States to start exporting crude oil, a move he says would promote job growth and help the nation's allies.

Texas Rep. Michael McCaul's bill, the Crude Oil Export Act, calls for the repeal of the 1975 Energy Policy and Conservation Act, which banned crude oil exports.

"Most of America's crude oil production is taking place underneath the feet of Texans in the Eagle Ford Shale and the Permian Basin," McCaul said. "Lifting the outdated ban on crude oil exports will result in more production, create new jobs at home and boost America's energy security while providing countries like Ukraine with a dependable supply alternative to energy imports from countries like Russia."

McCaul's proposal would still not allow crude exports to any nation that has U.S. trade restrictions or sanctions, and would reserve the right for the president and Congress to place a ban on countries for reasons of national security. It also would give the president the right to halt crude exports for 90 days during a national emergency.

A fact sheet put together by McCaul says the U.S. accounts for 10 percent of the world's crude oil production — and that figure is climbing.

"Not only will U.S. crude oil exports to Europe benefit America's allies, but it will also have a deep impact on Russia, which depends on artificially high oil prices to sustain its economy," the fact sheet says.

On Monday, the American Petroleum Institute said crude oil exports would spark up to 300,000 jobs over the next six years, while at the same time bringing oil prices down in the U.S., according to The Hill.

"Consumers are among the first to benefit from free trade, and crude oil is no exception," API Vice President Kyle Isakower told The Hill.

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