Wall Street Journal
Amid news of a pending nuclear deal with Iran, some OPEC countries have struck agreements with refineries in Asia to avoid losing market share when Iranian oil comes back on the market. If US policy will allow Iran to export oil, shouldn’t it allow America to do the same? Clearly, our allies would rather get their oil from America than Iran if given the choice. But without the ability to export, the US is not even in the game.
Congress must lift the ban on US crude oil exports. The ban is a terrible relic of the Nixon era that harms the American economy. As Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) has pointed out, restrictions on oil trade effectively amount to domestic sanctions. Combined with a mismatch in refining capacity, the ban on oil exports is creating a significant discount for US light oil at no benefit to anyone except refiners and their foreign ownership. It has cost US states, producers and royalty owners $125 billion in lost revenue in four years, according to industry estimates.
Foreign producers are using their heavy oil—and the US ban on exports—as a weapon against America. Over the past three decades countries such as Venezuela, Mexico, Saudi Arabia and Canada have overtaken US refining capacity to run their heavy crude in American refineries and capture a large portion of the US market. Without firing a shot, they have disadvantaged American oil and interests. [more]
The United States must lift an "outdated" ban on oil exports to take full economic and geopolitical advantage of its hydraulic fracturing boom, according to a study by Harvard Business School and Boston Consulting Group released on Wednesday.
Lifting the 40 year-old ban imposed after the Arab oil embargo and easing restrictions on liquefied natural gas export terminals would add $23 billion to the economy by 2030, create
tens of thousands of jobs, and provide the United States with additional clout overseas, the paper said. [more]
Other men bought big houses or new pickups with their oil money. Mike Gillham bought his favorite bar. He heads there most nights, to lug in more beer, to throw darts with his regulars, to smoke Camels and sit with his wife and wonder how to keep getting by, now that his oil job is gone.
Four years ago, Gillham stumbled upon what is more or less an economic lottery ticket for an American man whose education stopped after high school. It paid more than any other gig he’d had — more than all three of the jobs, combined, that he’d been working simultaneously before a buddy called and invited him into the well-paid world of the oil and gas industry.
The crash in global oil prices late last year, with oil prices plunging from nearly $110 to about $45 for a barrel of West Texas crude, burned that lottery ticket. Gillham and thousands of men like him lost their jobs.
“It was like somebody knocked the wind out of you, a little bit,” Gillham said.
The collapse in oil prices came as a surprise to the nation’s oil workers. While there had been booms and busts before, this was supposed to a sustainable renaissance in American energy. And though oil has bounced back a bit — to about $60 a barrel — the pressure on American oil drillers isn’t subsiding. [more]
Contact: Pete Regan, DEPA Executive Director