June 26, 2014
Senator Releases Report Detailing Backwardness of U.S. Policy
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today released a report that finds that the United States is the only advanced nation in the world with a ban on oil exports. The report – A Ban for One: The Outdated Prohibition on U.S. Oil Exports in Global Context – shows that of the 34 member countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the United States is the only member to prohibit oil exports.
In fact, many members are net importers – such as Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom – that still export substantial volumes of oil because of geography, economic efficiency, and mismatches between refinery capacity and the quality of domestic petroleum production. Other members, including Canada, Mexico, and Norway, are net exporters.
“The ban on oil exports is an outdated relic of a bygone era that puts the United States at a disadvantage in the global market,” Murkowski said. “The current energy revolution provides us with an opportunity to once again become a major energy producer and exporter, not just a consumer. It’s an opportunity that will create jobs, badly needed economic activity, and ensure that the production boom continues.”
The report concludes:
“The United States is the only member of the OECD and IEA that has effectively banned the export of crude oil produced domestically. Many developed nations produce either negligible amounts or none altogether, so a ban on exports would be irrelevant. Nonetheless, several American allies – namely, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Italy, and the Netherlands – continue to export oil while remaining net importers. In these cases, exporting domestic oil of a certain grade and importing oil of another grade may be the most economically efficient option given constraints in refining capacity, infrastructure, and geography. Other long-time partners – Canada, Mexico, Denmark, and Norway – are net exporters. By lifting the de facto ban on crude exports, the United States would strengthen its trading ties, improve economic efficiency, and enhance its posture around the globe.”
The report is available on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee website.
Murkowski, the senior Republican on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, released a white paper in January on the need to revamp U.S. energy exports policy. Murkowski and her staff have also published three reports in the months since, on the use of executive power to authorize crude oil exports, the Commerce Department’s authority to allow condensate exports, and the use of oil exchanges to increase efficiency.