Top US business group backs end to oil export ban

oil barrels09 January 2014, News Wires – The chief of the top US business lobby on Wednesday added to an increasing chorus of voices calling for an end to the US effective ban on crude-oil experts.


Tom Donahue, chief executive of the US Chamber of Commerce, expressed support for the issue in Washington as part of an address on the state of American business.

His comments came just a day after GOP senator Lisa Murkowski, the top Republican on the Senate’s energy committee, and oil lobby API chair Jack Gerard also called for a change to the policy.

“America’s new era of energy abundance gives us an unrivaled opportunity to transform the United States from a nation dependent on imports to a significant energy exporter,” Donahue said in his remarks.

“It means we can continue to attract new manufacturing and, over time, trillions of dollars of investments to our country.”

After the speech he addressed the topic further with reporters, saying changes to the 1970s-origin policy could be inevitable.

“I want to lift the ban. I just want to get it done in a reasonable sequence,” he was quoted as saying by the Houston Chronicle.

“It’s not going to happen overnight, but it’s going to happen.”

Alaska Senator Murkowski said this week that a comprehensive bill to change the policy is unlikely as 2014 is a midterm election year in Congress, Murkowski said, and the Obama administration could enact the shift administratively.

Failing that, Murkowski said she would introduce legislation in Congress, for which she may find an ally in Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu.

The Democrat, who represents a major oil-producer, is a longtime advocate for the industry and is expected to move up to the committee’s top Democratic position after current chair Ron Wyden.

The has US faced the same issue with natural gas in recent years as well, leading to a flood of proposals for projects to liquefy and export the commodity.

The US Energy Department has authorised a handful of projects to export to countries that lack free-trade agreements with the US, and energy secretary Ernest Moniz has hinted he may revisit crude export policies as well.

– Upstream

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