The House passed legislation authorizing widespread crude exports on Friday, delivering a major victory to energy companies lobbying for the freedom to sell oil around the world.
But their success may be short-lived, because getting the trade policy change through the House was actually the easy part. The real test is in the narrowly divided Senate, where stand-alone export legislation is unlikely to advance and supporters are mulling an array of strategies — and potential deals — to advance their cause some other way.
In the 261-159 House vote Friday, 26 Democrats joined 235 Republicans to support the legislation, which would undo 40-year-old trade restrictions that block most raw, unprocessed U.S. crude from being sold outside the country. Nine Democrats abstained. [more]
All of this means that what we're doing in Pennsylvania to get energy out of the ground is essential to creating good, high-paying jobs, restarting our factories and making America even more competitive. Over 240,000 Pennsylvanians are working in jobs tied to natural gas production, and homeowners are saving on average $1,200 a year in lower energy bills compared to 2008.
Recent declines in oil and gas prices have curtailed investment in the energy sector. Sure enough, that has hit businesses and workers. However, we don't need to take that situation as a given, as something outside of our control. [full story]
After an up-and-mostly-down year for oil prices, the oil and natural gas industry is set over the next year to benefit from recovering prices and industry activity, Continental Resources CEO Harold Hamm said Monday.
"I think we're at the bottom of this pricing situation," he said.
Despite the country's oil and natural gas producers mothballing 56 percent of their drilling rigs since November, domestic production still has been higher than expected. Over the past few months, however, production has slowed. [more]
A House subcommittee voted Thursday to lift the 40-year-old restriction on exporting crude oil, moving the legislation a significant step toward passage.
Before approving the measure by voice vote, Republicans on the Energy and Commerce subcommittee on energy and power said the bill would bring wide-ranging benefits to United States consumers and workers while benefitting the country’s allies abroad.
Democrats objected to the bill, but most signaled a willingness to negotiate on the policy to protect interests that they said could be hurt by the change.
Over the past year, oil exports have become a top priority for Republicans and the oil industry, reeling from a global glut of oil that has brought prices to their lowest point in years. [more]
Thanks to our off-year municipal elections, Houstonians have likely grown accustomed to the television, radio and Internet ads that will soon arrive this Fall. Folks in states like Colorado, Maine, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey and New Mexico were probably more surprised to discover an onslaught of political advertisements over the past few days. It is all part of upcoming Congressional debates about removing the federal ban on crude oil exports.
Allied Progress, a newly formed organization that opposes exports, has begun running television ads to target senators who could be potential swing votes, according to FuelFix reporter Jennifer A. Dlouhy. Some of the specific targets are Sen. Kelley Ayotte (R-NH), Democratic senators Martin Heinrich and Tom Udall of New Mexico and Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO). Meanwhile, the pro-export Domestic Energy Producers Alliance has released its own ads in support of ending the ban.
Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) has already faced a series of targeted ads after he raised the possibility of using "strategic" crude exports as part of nuclear negotiations with Iran. [more]