Congress Passes Legislation Lifting the Ban on Crude Oil Exports

December 18, 2015 - Today, the U.S. Senate voted overwhelmingly in favor of a package of spending bills and tax breaks known as the Consolidated Appropriations Act for 2016. The Act, already passed by the House of Representatives, now goes to the desk of the President for his signature. Included in the Act are provisions repealing the outdated 1970’s-era ban on the export of crude oil produced in the United States.

“The Permian Basin Petroleum Association has supported the efforts in Congress to lift the export ban, which first became a possibility after the passage of Representative Barton’s H.R. 702 out of the House in October,” provides President of the PBPA Ben Shepperd. While H.R. 702 was not voted on in the Senate, its provisions were the basis for the language lifting the export ban in the Act. “Amidst all the wrangling and partisanship in Washington recently,” continued Mr. Shepperd, “I am pleased to see Republicans and Democrats working together to end the ban on crude oil exports. We are grateful to Representative Barton and Chairman Conaway, among others, for their tireless work. With their undeniable efforts, the producers of the United States can participate in the international market for crude oil for the first time in 40 years."

Stephen Robertson, Executive Vice President at PBPA added that, “the case has been made by independent reports from both political and economic sources that ending the export ban will significantly boost the economy, create hundreds of thousands of new jobs, and empower our allies around the world. For instance, it is estimated that domestic crude oil production could be boosted by as much as 500,000 barrels a day.”

The positive effects could be felt most here in Texas. Lifting the oil export ban is critically important to Texas’ jobs and economy. The oil industry has already lost 250,000 jobs this year alone. The Gulf ports of Texas will see the lion’s share of the oil exported from our county, so that means jobs in the oil fields of the Permian Basin, in Texas ports and in Texas companies that provide the goods and services used by the oil industry in Texas and elsewhere.

The benefits don’t stop there. By modernizing our nation’s energy policy to reflect an era of domestic energy abundance, lifting the oil export ban will not only enhance the national economy, but it will improve our country’s trade balance, and enhance our national security and relations with our trading partners who want to buy U.S. oil rather than oil from unfriendly, and at times unreliable, countries.