Writing in philly.com, George Mason University economics professor Donald J. Boudreaux asks a question on everyone’s minds lately:
If unfettered commerce in oil is fine for Iran, then why not for America?
He is referring to the recent nuclear arms deal negotiated between the Obama Administration and the government of Iran that would lift sanctions on their ability to export crude oil, while U.S. energy companies continue to be denied that opportunity by a ban signed into law during President Gerald Ford’s administration.
Professor Boudreaux’s op-ed, Lift U.S. ban on oil exports, is worth reading. Especially now, as bipartisan legislation has been introduced in Congress that would finally rescind crude export restrictions.
One of the facets of this issue Professor Boudreaux addresses is the mistaken conception that exporting crude would increase fuel prices. He says:
As the supply of crude and the capacity to refine it increase, the price of everything from gasoline to heating oil and diesel will fall significantly. A report from ICS International estimates that U.S. consumers would save $5.8 billion by 2035 thanks to falling prices if the export ban ends.
He also points to a study that indicates repealing the ban would trigger the average annual creation of nearly 400,000 new jobs and increase U.S. GDP by $134 billion in 2018 alone.
Many Americans want to see the ban lifted. Tell your members of Congress that it’s time to lift the outdated crude oil exports ban.