Below are highlights from a statement given by US Senator Richard Shelby, Chairman of the US Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs delivered during a full committee hearing on ‘Lifting the Crude Oil Export Ban.’
“Approximately 40 years ago, Congress imposed the oil export ban as part of a comprehensive set of price and export controls on a variety of industries. We learned in subsequent years that such anti competitive policies hampered job creation and harmed American consumers. Despite long outliving its purpose, the ban on the export of crude oil remains in place today, with only a few exceptions.
“Due to the advancement of technology and other techniques that facilitate oil extraction, the US has undergone an energy boom during the past several years. In face, it has become the world’s largest total producer of oil, according to the Energy information Administration. As a result, the oil and gas industry has added tens of thousands of jobs, with the potential to significantly bolster this number as production increases.”
Impacts of lifting the ban
“As others have noted, there is often confusion about the impact that lifting the crude oil ban will have on gasoline prices at the pump. To be clear, prices at the pump are largely determined by the world oil market, of which the US is just one of many countries that participates.
“Studies from Colombia University, the Brookings Institution, and the Government Accountability Office, among others, cite that lifting the ban is likely to reduce the price of gasoline for American consumers by increasing the supply of crude oil available to the world market. Consumers, US jobs, and economic growth could all benefit from an increase in the domestic production of oil. The export ban in place today is economically inefficient by artificially discouraging production.
“Lifting the ban could also benefit the geopolitical position of the US and reduce worldwide reliance on OPEC nations and Russia, not to mention Iran, which could be soon ramping up oil production under the terms of the Administration’s nuclear deal.
“Today’s hearing will discuss the impact of reversing the oil export ban, a policy within this Committee’s jurisdiction. It is one that I believe has held back our economic potential for at least a decade.”
Edited from testimony by Claira Lloyd