“2014 is likely to be a year where we seriously talk about oil exports," said Kevin Book, managing director at ClearView Energy Partners LLC, a Washington, D.C., political advisory firm. Since the mid-1970s, crude oil has been banned from U.S. export while refined oil is allowed.
Oil industry leaders are pointing out that the reason for the ban was due to the energy crisis in the ‘70s, which is clearly no longer an issue. The U.S. has come a long way in crude oil production and now has more than enough. The low prices at home don’t provide much incentive to drillers, sometimes resulting in a decision between leaving the oil in the ground or losing profit.
“There are concerns that there may be too much, that there may be congestion, and that we may see much cheaper prices along the Gulf because of so much crude oil descending on the refining centers of the country,” says Tom Kloza, chief oil analyst with Gasbuddy.com.
Now that the U.S. is capable of producing so much crude, drillers have the opportunity to generate even more for the economy through exports. In December 2013, we highlighted the fact that for the first time since 1995, the U.S. has managed to produce more oil than it needed to import, building U.S. economic stability and independence. Why not continue this growth by increasing exports?
If the ban is lifted and oil production companies are allowed to export crude oil without licenses, the U.S. economy will be able to fully reap the benefits of current oil production capabilities. “Crude oil exports could generate upward of $15 billion a year in revenue by 2017 at today's prices, according to industry estimates.”
Are you in favor of lifting the ban on crude oil exports?
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