Will the U.S. lift its 38-year ban on crude oil exports?
The U.S. could start sharing the crude spoils of its environment-ravaging drilling boom with other nations.
The country banned crude exports after the oil shocks of the 1970s. But oil producers and oil-loving politicians alike are starting to push for that export ban to be lifted. Oil companies last year began preparing a legal challenge to the ban, which may argue that it violates international law. And last month, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz suggested that it may be time to consider lifting the ban. “Those restrictions on exports were born, as was the Department of Energy and the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, on oil disruptions,” he said at an energy forum.
FuelFix explains the growing disquiet over the export ban:
As a new year dawns in the nation’s capital, the Obama administration and Congress find themselves grappling with a scenario that was unthinkable just a short time ago: What to do with the domestic oil flowing out of West Texas, North Dakota and other states?
The climb in domestic crude production has created a dilemma for both lawmakers and the White House, who are facing new pressure from oil companies to relax the nation’s 38-year-old ban on exports of the unprocessed product. …
[T]here is a growing glut of light, sweet crude that is unearthed in the U.S., and barred from export. Many U.S. refineries, particularly along the Gulf Coast, were designed to process heavier supplies from Venezuela, Saudi Arabia and Canada, and while some have adapted to handle more of the light, sweet domestic product, bigger changes are unlikely soon.
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