Commentary: Congress Should Repeal Oil Export Ban - Topic A: Energy
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October 22, 2014

Commentary: Congress Should Repeal Oil Export Ban

Thomas Tunstall, research director of the University of Texas at San Antonio Institute for Economic Development, writes in the Wall St. Journal: “The unexpected increase in the production of shale oil, a light oil called condensate and natural gas in the U.S. has upended many assumptions about the U.S. energy market. As the oil and gas bonanza continues, the U.S. ban on crude-oil exports looks increasingly outdated, arbitrary and economically damaging. With Europe poised to endanger its gas supply by imposing more sanctions on its major supplier Russia, the possibility of energy exports from America takes on an important security dimension too.”

“Thanks to fracking and other unconventional shale-extraction technology, natural gas is the biggest energy story in the U.S. now. In the early 2000s, natural-gas pipeline companies—such as Cheniere and Freeport LNG—spent billions on import facilities as U.S. production decreased, to less than 19 trillion cubic feet in 2005 from roughly 22 trillion cubic feet in 1970.”

The piece concludes: “The misalignment between the ever-increasing supply of light U.S. oil and the underutilized heavy-crude facilities on the Gulf Coast suggests that the 40-year ban on oil exports has outlived its usefulness. Congress would be wise to repeal it.”

Categories: Commentary

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