There’s a move in Washington to lift the outdated ban on crude oil exports. This ban, dating back to the 1970s, was written for an era of U.S. energy scarcity. It does not make any sense when our nation is in the middle of an energy revolution.
The editors of the Washington Post understand this. In a recent editorial, they explained the benefits that would come to the U.S. by updating our nation’s crude oil export law:
“A new report by IHS Global explains why that thinking is outmoded. Actually, the report notes, allowing U.S. producers to sell their light crude abroad, where more refineries are equipped to process it efficiently, would incentivize additional U.S. production and job creation. At the same time, increasing the world supply of crude oil would translate into lower world prices for other heavier grades of crude, which U.S. refineries do use, and for gasoline. That, in turn, would be reflected in moderate gas prices in the United States. The IHS study estimates free trade in U.S. crude oil could save U.S. motorists $265 billion between 2016 and 2030. This does not count the geopolitical benefits of bringing a stable new source of supply onto world markets to offset those from Iraq, Libya and other trouble spots.”
Our energy laws shouldn’t be stuck in the 1970s. They should reflect the reality of today’s energy production. It’s time to change the outdated crude oil export law.