The White House said on Tuesday it does not support a bill in the U.S. House of Representatives to repeal the 40-year-old ban on exports of crude oil. “They want in on this American oil renaissance for good reasons”.
But while the bill is expected to pass through the House relatively easily, it will face significantly more opposition in the Senate. A Senate committee voted in favor of similar legislation earlier this year, but no Democrats voted in favor of it. At least a few Democrats will have to side with all the Senate Republicans to achieve filibuster-proof majority of 60 votes.
North Dakota Sens. John Hoeven and Heidi Heitkamp sat for a panel debate in Washington on the impact of lifting the ban on crude oil exports Tuesday morning.
“It is time for our energy policies to catch up to our new era of abundance”, Committee Chairman Fred Upton, R-Mich., said in a statement.
The U.S.is also already exporting more than a half-million barrels of crude a day to Canada, the biggest exemption under the ban.
Last year, the Commerce Department lifted restrictions for certain USA companies, allowing them to export a type of ultralight oil known as condensate to foreign buyers, clearing the way for the first exports of unrefined oil in over four decades. At his speech at the Houston-area Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday, Mr. McCarthy is also expected to announce the House plans to vote on other energy legislation that would streamline pipeline infrastructure and seek to enhance US energy security. Gasoline prices would be unchanged or, at best, slightly reduced. Support on Capitol Hill also has been growing faster than many observers thought given concern about how exporting oil could, or could be perceived to, raise gas prices-a politically fraught election issue.
Exporting oil was unthinkable to most energy industry experts until the past couple of years as production increased.
Opponents of lifting the ban question numerous economic benefits touted by supporters.
Energy interests say the domestic drilling boom could soon choke on a glut of crude if producers are not allowed to ship the oil to consumer countries in Asia and Europe.
“Lifting the ban will make us stronger economically, it will bring growth and the revival we’ve seen in Houston”. Republicans appear to be solidly behind lifting the ban.