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US House Committee Moves Oil Export Bill

The House Commerce and Energy Committee wrapped up its work last week with a meeting to mark up H.R. 702, “To Adapt to Changing Crude Oil Market Conditions.”

In a vote of 31-19, the Committee approved H.R. 702.  Chairman Emeritus Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) and Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX) introduced the bipartisan legislation, which is expected to be considered by the full house the first week in October.

Rep. Barton commented, “The ban on exporting crude oil imposes an estimated $200-$600 billion cost to the U.S. economy, discourages crude oil production, prevents the creation of jobs, and causes higher gasoline prices for U.S. consumers. We need to use our abundant resources for the highest and best causes – creating jobs, encouraging innovation, supporting our allies and being a leading player in the world market.”

Lifting the ban on oil exports enjoys broad bipartisan support and will help create jobs, lower energy prices, and boost America’s standing around the globe. Studies have shown that lifting the ban would create nearly one million new jobs across the United States and help keep prices lower at the pump. A study by the left-leaning Brookings Institution found that, “Lifting the ban actually lowers gasoline prices by increasing the total amount of crude supply.” H.R. 702 would also give our allies around the world the opportunity to import American oil instead of Russian or Iranian oil – providing the United States with new trading partners and increasing leverage in the global marketplace.  

Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) concluded, “America wins when we support free trade and open markets. Much has changed since 1975 when these restrictions were imposed but the dramatic growth in domestic oil output over the last decade has flipped the script. The administration now supports lifting Iran’s ban on oil exports – and we should all agree its time to lift the ban on American exports. Creating jobs, keeping energy affordable, boosting energy production, and improving our energy security – these are all important to folks in Michigan and a bill that accomplishes all four is worthy of all our support.”

The US Senate Banking Committee will hold a markup meeting on Thursday for a bill to lift the crude oil ban.