Energy Industry Urges Obama to Skip Congress to Lift Ban on Oil Exports

By Siciliano, John | Examiner (Washington, D.C.), The, July 7, 2015 | Go to article overview

Energy Industry Urges Obama to Skip Congress to Lift Ban on Oil Exports


Siciliano, John, Examiner (Washington, D.C.), The


Oil producers are pressing President Obama to use his executive authority to lift the 40-year-old ban on crude oil exports, which would not require the approval of Congress.

Barry Russell, president and CEO of the Independent Petroleum Association of America, sent a letter to the president on Tuesday asking him to adjust the export control measure and open up a new global market for U.S. crude oil.

"To continue growing as an energy superpower, America must have policies that reflect modern energy markets, rather than policies based on a market that existed in the 1970s," Russell said. "Current law provides authority to the administration to approve oil exports without requiring any action from Congress."

The U.S. in a matter of a few years has become a major producer of oil derived from shale. The production comes from the use of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, which uses a combination of sand, water and horizontal drilling techniques to force oil and natural gas from tight shale formations deep underground.

The production of oil from the formations has reduced the nation's demand for oil imports, and the energy industry believes enough shale oil exists in the U.S. to justify exporting it.

"By lifting the outdated exports ban, the United States would see more good-paying American jobs, reduced pressure on gasoline prices, increased investment in free trade, economic growth and a diminished need for imported foreign oil from volatile regions of the world, all while reducing the national trade deficit," Russell said.

In the letter, he says the administration has taken important steps toward removing the export ban and should build on those.

He points out that the Commerce Department's decision in recent years to allow the export of natural gas liquids, known as condensates, was a positive step toward lifting the ban on crude oil.

Russell says a similar step for crude oil could be taken without the need for Congress to get involved. He also said there could be export exemptions employed when shipping crude oil to U. …

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