Congressman Jim Bridenstine Promotes Lifting Ban on U.S. Crude Oil Exports
America is experiencing a tremendous energy renaissance. Last month, U.S. crude oil production was the highest since 1973. The U.S. has surpassed Saudi Arabia as the world’s largest producer of petroleum including natural gas.
This astonishing rate of production has resulted in inventory accumulation. Nationwide, U.S. total crude oil inventories are at the highest level in 85 years. Cushing Oklahoma, about 50 miles west of my home in Tulsa, is the largest crude oil storage hub in the country. Two weeks ago, inventories at Cushing rose to an all-time record level.
This is happening right now. But U.S. laws are stuck in the 1970s. The U.S. banned crude oil exports in 1975 in response to the Arab Oil Embargo. The world and the oil market have changed in the past 40 years. Today petroleum is traded in a world market.
In a comprehensive study, the U.S. Energy Information Agency (EIA) concluded that international (Brent) crude oil prices are more important than domestic (WTI) crude oil prices as a determinant of U.S. gasoline prices.
Exporting U.S. crude oil will increase world supply and drive down international crude oil prices. The result will be lower gasoline prices at the pump in the U.S.
Exporting U.S. crude oil will be good for the Oklahoma economy and for the American economy. The result will be hundreds of thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in added GDP.
Crude oil exports will also counter Russian aggression. Vladimir Putin uses energy as a weapon, too often wielding power by cutting off petroleum supplies in the dead of winter.
U.S. crude oil exports will enhance America’s national security, promote economic growth, and result in lower prices at the gasoline pump. We must lift the ban on exports.