Columns

Blaine's Bulletin: #Lifttheban

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Washington, October 16, 2015 | comments
“The United States is now the largest petroleum and natural gas producer in the world. In light of the U.S. energy boom, maintaining our self-imposed restraint hinders the U.S. economy from realizing the benefits that could come from being a key energy supplier to the world” – the United States Chamber of Commerce
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“The United States is now the largest petroleum and natural gas producer in the world. In light of the U.S. energy boom, maintaining our self-imposed restraint hinders the U.S. economy from realizing the benefits that could come from being a key energy supplier to the world” – the United States Chamber of Commerce

Recently, the House voted on legislation to lift the ban on crude oil exports. I was proud to cosponsor and support this bipartisan legislation because America needs to strengthen energy security here at home and abroad.

The ban on the export of crude oil was passed in 1975 during an era of oil scarcity, price controls, and global market disruptions. Now, nearly 40 years later, the United States is the world’s largest producer of oil and gas thanks to advances in technology and innovation that allow us to develop resources that were once inaccessible. This domestic energy revolution has helped buoy our economy but unfortunately American oil producers are still saddled with the arcane prohibition on selling their product on the world market.

So, why is lifting the ban on exporting crude oil important to you or your family?

With the recent increase in U.S. oil production due to hydraulic fracturing, and with the average price of gasoline in the U.S. dropping to $2.06 a gallon, many individuals have proposed eliminating the export ban on crude oil. Low gas prices over the last year have resulted in an average annual savings of $750 per family. In fact, a recent study performed by the Energy Information Administration (under the Department of Energy) concluded that lifting the oil export ban would lower prices even more as companies boost drilling activity and more petroleum products hit the market. In addition, introducing American crude will help to stabilize the global market and shrink the influence of OPEC and Russia. At a time when the administration wants to allow Iranians to sell their oil on the world market, we should not continue telling hard working American oil producers that they can’t do the same.

You may be interested to know the oil and gas industry in the state of Missouri contributes $9.8 billion to the economy and, even more impressively, supports 118,800 jobs. This includes good paying manufacturing jobs producing steel tubes, vehicles, and other equipment used in the oil fields. While we may not have much oil, the Third District is home to a number of mines that produce sand and other minerals that are vital to the oil supply chain.  A recent survey that was conducted in Missouri, there are at least 189 companies providing goods and services to the oil and gas industry. And lifting the crude oil export ban will create up to 6,895 new jobs in our state by the year 2018.

Please know I will continue to support legislation that promotes energy independence and job creation by increasing safe American energy production. 

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Tags: Energy

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