Sen. Murkowski Reiterates Call to Lift Federal Ban on Oil Exports

Increased Domestic Production Offers Opportunities to Expand Energy Trade

January 30, 2014

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) today reiterated her call for the Obama administration to end the prohibition against exporting crude oil produced in the United States to spur job creation and increase the nation’s energy security.

Sen. Murkowski's opening remarks at the January 30, 2014 ENR hearing on crude exports.

(Click for video of Sen. Murkowski’s opening statement.)

“The architecture of U.S. energy exports must be renovated if our nation is to lead the world on issues of trade, the environment, and energy,” Murkowski said. “The prohibition on crude oil and condensate exports threatens record-breaking U.S. oil production and American jobs by creating inefficiencies, gluts, and other dislocations.”

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on Thursday held the first hearing in 25 years on the federal government’s prohibition on exporting domestically produced oil.

“We should send a powerful signal to the world that the United States is ready to reassert its role as a leader on energy,” Murkowski said.

Murkowski said the Obama administration has the authority to lift the export ban without congressional action. The U.S. Commerce Department can authorize a swap if domestic crude cannot be marketed in the United States. The president can also issue a national interest determination. Murkowski recently wrote the president offering to work together in a bipartisan fashion to address the export ban before it becomes a problem.

“The International Energy Agency has warned that maintaining the ban may actually result in shut-in production, which would be to the detriment of the nation’s livelihood,” Murkowski said. “Lifting the ban is about increasing domestic production and creating jobs.”

Murkowski, the top Republican on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, recently released a white paper on updating the nation’s energy trade policies. Analysis supporting energy exports by the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service is available here.

“The impact on American consumers is critical. Opening up world markets to U.S. crude oil will lower the global price, which will in turn lower the global prices for petroleum products,” Murkowski said. “All things equal, the American consumer will benefit from this interaction, as will those Americans employed directly and indirectly as a result.

Full video of Thursday’s hearing is available on the energy panel’s website.