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  • 28

    Bill to lift ban on crude oil exports gets hearing

    Amy Dalrymple


    A proposal to lift the ban on crude oil exports will have a hearing today before the US Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs.

    Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), a member of the committee who introduced legislation to repeal the ban, said the proposal is gaining momentum.

    “I think right now we’re at that spot where there may be an opportunity to move this forward in Congress,” Heitkamp said. “Having a hearing is a first step.” [more]

  • 22

    Federal government undermining technology in the energy era

    Rob Bishop

    Houston Chronicle

    A country that undermines its own technological advancements is a country in peril.

    A decade ago, establishment experts, bureaucrats, and environmental extremists were convinced the world was running out of fossil fuels - the organic energy found deep underground that plays an elemental role in our daily lives. With the supply petering out, they prophesied, costs would rocket sky-high, forcing average Americans to limit their energy use. There were still natural gas and oil deposits remaining, but those were doomed to remain out of reach, trapped in impermeable rock.

    Where the naysayers saw an ending, American entrepreneurs saw a beginning. Ignoring conventional wisdom, a few American oil and natural gas companies, called "wildcatters" for their unbridled spirit and fierce determination, achieved a series of breakthroughs in the late 1990s. By the turn of the 21st century, these innovators mastered the application of hydraulic fracturing to horizontal drilling, enabling them to develop unconventional rock formations. This unleashed what's known as the American shale renaissance because it ushered in a modern era of abundant, wealth-creating, lasting energy.

    What lay ahead would not be your grandfather's oil and gas industry. Hydraulic fracturing is a highly technical process that involves the injection of fluids at high pressure into solid shale rock in order to unlock the natural gas and oil trapped inside, miles below the Earth's surface. Visiting a fracturing site today feels like walking onto a spaceship, complete with sonar maps, switchboards, cameras and engineers working around the clock. [more]

    Rob Bishop (R-UT) is chairman of the United States House of Representatives Committee on Natural Resources.
  • 06

    The growing case for ending the crude oil export ban

    Reps. Joe L. Barton and Henry Cuellar

    Roll Call

    The advantages of lifting the ban on crude oil exports are not just theoretical talking points discussed in the halls of Congress, but rather supported by a large and growing body of research by government agencies, academic institutions and think tanks across the political spectrum. The latest is a study released by the Harvard Business School and the Boston Consulting Group. It highlights the obvious benefits lifting the ban will have on American families and businesses, our economy and global allies.

    The study discusses the changing US energy landscape and the opportunities made possible by America’s new energy abundance. The fear of a crippling dependence on foreign oil that existed in the 1970s, when the export ban was put in place, is no longer applicable today. In fact, the US is now the world’s top petroleum producer largely due to our recent ability to produce oil and natural gas from shale formations. The world has changed drastically in the past 40 years and it is time for our policies to accurately reflect the current conditions in which we now live. We must embrace the United States’ new leading role on the world energy stage and recognize the value it would create in our everyday lives.

    This point is emphasized in the HBS and BCG study, which recommends “eliminating outdated restrictions on gas and oil exports” that are “based on circumstances in the 1970s that since have been reversed.”

    The study also highlights the economic benefits of lifting the ban, providing further data and research that should help alleviate the concerns of those who continue to support the status quo. [more]

    Rep. Joe L. Barton is a Republican and Rep. Henry Cuellar is a Democrat. Both are from Texas.

  • 21

    America's self-punishing oil export ban

    Harold Hamm

    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]

  • 11

    Harvard study: US should ditch outdated oil export ban

    Richard Valdmanis


    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]