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Obama Should Support Ending the Oil Export Ban

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The author of this entry is responsible for this content, which is not edited by the Wilson County News or
December 5, 2015 | 2,851 views | 10 comments

By Drew Johnson

After the House of Representatives' recent vote to lift a 40-year-old ban on exporting domestically drilled oil, Obama promised a veto. He claimed that "Congress should be focusing its efforts on supporting our transition to a low-carbon economy."

The president's veto threat is clearly designed to please environmental extremists who oppose energy production. But allowing the United States to sell oil to foreign markets would have a negligible environmental impact. Meanwhile, retaining the ban denies our economy the chance to grow.

Instead of bowing to the demands of a few green radicals, President Obama should do what's in the best interest of the nation: support lifting the oil export ban.

The ban has its origins in the oil crises of the 1970s. In 1975, following the Arab Oil Embargo, President Gerald Ford signed the Environmental Policy and Conservation Act. The law was designed to ensure a stable oil supply and banned the export of unrefined domestic oil.

Banning exports in the 70s didn't make sense -- economics 101 should have been enough to convince lawmakers that it was a terrible idea. It's an even worse idea now.

America has become an energy giant. New technologies such as hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling have boosted domestic production, long believed to be in terminal decline. In fact, the United States has passed Saudi Arabia as the world's top oil producer.

The rapid expansion of domestic oil supplies has dramatically driven down prices. Crude oil in the United States is now about 10 percent below the global average. This means less revenue for every barrel sold, leading some domestic producers to cap wells that would otherwise be profitable.

Lifting the oil export ban would deliver huge benefits. A repeal would boost domestic oil production by 1.2 million barrels per day and create about 400,000 new jobs per year between now and 2030 -- with a peak of 1,000,000 new jobs in 2018. Gas prices would drop by up to 12 cents per gallon, saving U.S. motorists $265 billion over the next 15 years.

Repealing the ban would also add between $600 billion and $1.8 trillion to GDP through 2039. Even Obama's former economic advisor Steve Rattner noted that oil exports mean "more production, more jobs, and less reliance on imports and an improvement in our trade balance."

Global security will also improve. There will be a more stable oil supply for our allies and a reduced dependency on hostile nations. Eastern European NATO states import 80 percent or more of their natural gas from Russia. Similarly, our Southeast Asian allies rely on fuel shipped via contested South China Sea routes.

Imagine how a consistent American supply could lessen tensions in these regions. President Obama's own former Undersecretary of Defense Michele Flournoy told Congress, "Enabling U.S. oil exports would strengthen our geopolitical influence, leadership and leverage with allies and adversaries alike."

The case for lifting the ban is overwhelming. Not surprisingly, a recent poll shows three in four Americans supporting a repeal.

But radical environmentalists believe that anything that might lead to more oil extraction is wrong. And, just as he did with the Keystone XL pipeline, the President has sided with the radicals.

With the Senate about to put this decision on the president's desk, it's high time for the White House to ignore the radicals and revoke the oil export ban.

Drew Johnson is a Senior Fellow at the Taxpayers Protection Alliance, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization committed to limited, responsible government.
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Your Opinions and Comments

December 11, 2015 10:34pm
No, I've never voted for a Dumocrat..Ever. The wealthy and those on the government assistance have done quite well in the last 7 years. Obama phone anyone?. I've chosen to work all my life and not take handouts with strings attached.

4th Generation Texan  
Sutherland Spriungs  
December 11, 2015 8:01am
Franklin, did you vote for Obama? The only people that have flourished during Obama's years have been mainly the wealthy. I'll let you figure the rest of it out.

December 10, 2015 8:34pm
The problem wages are not rising with inflation. While yes, workers and their families get a boost from these higher prices, those of us (99% in Texas) who aren't oilfield are getting squeezed at the pump and at the grocery... More ›

4th Generation Texan  
Sutherland Spriungs  
December 9, 2015 3:50pm
Franklin, I believe we've touched on this topic before about the selfishness of the big oil companies. Don't you have the ability to look at the big picture and see that low gas prices for you is a killer for the whole economy... More ›

4th Generation Texan  
Sutherland Spriungs  
December 9, 2015 3:42pm
Oh, Humbug....Odumba is not going to do anything. Next time he's on TV with that stupid possum eatin potato grin and big ears, someone should haul off and slap the living hell out of him. As he has said, Global Weather Change... More ›

December 8, 2015 4:48pm
What I would like to see is not being gouged. And your right, oil is VERY essential to everyday life. Without it we cant go to work, buy food. Get food to the stores. Its about the same as water and electric at this point in... More ›

Senior Citizen  
Wilson County  
December 8, 2015 4:39pm
Franklin, you are being quite short-sighted. Like Bob said, if you look at the bigger picture, it will open markets to trade and make us less dependent on foreign oil from countries who would do us harm. THAT is the bigger picture.... More ›

December 8, 2015 4:13pm
No, what I know is what is how the effects me financially. When large oil companies are calling for it. Its not because they care about any of us or our families. Its about profit pure and simple. They could care less about squeezing... More ›

Bob Pritts  
St Hedwig, TX  
December 8, 2015 4:02pm
Franklin, It's obvious you have very little understanding of world trade, the U.S. economy, and free market capitalism that you should not be commenting on this subject. This will actually create jobs and make our country... More ›

December 8, 2015 3:50pm
Once again. When oil people are asking for the same thing. Its because it will benefit them and for no other reason. They could care less about our prices at the pump or how much it was draining us financially. They were laughing... More ›

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