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Exports, Sound Policy and Access to Reserves

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted June 19, 2015

Crude Export Backers See Momentum – And Ticking Clock

Energy & Environment Daily – Supporters of ending the ban on crude oil exports are mounting a full-court press to win over wary lawmakers, while keeping a close eye on global markets and the calendar.

Export backers in recent months have cited both national security and economic arguments as they look to line up the votes to repeal the decades-old ban. Earlier this week at a speech at the U.S. Energy Information Administration annual conference, Continental Resources Inc. founder Harold Hamm warned that maintaining the ban would cause U.S. production to fall by 1 million barrels a day (Greenwire, June 16).

EIA's own data from earlier this month pegged U.S. oil production at 9.6 million barrels per day in May, but predicted that amount to "generally decline" until early 2016 before picking up again.

However, EIA's latest forecast also noted the highest average monthly price of 2015 for the global oil benchmark -- Brent crude, which rose $5 a barrel in May. At the same time, U.S. average gasoline prices rose to $2.72 last month, a 25-cent increase over April and the highest of the year so far.

Oil prices regularly rise and fall, but a continued upward trend complicates the task of persuading lawmakers to cast their votes to end the ban -- and later face a voter backlash.

"I think it's important to do it this year," Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas), the former chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, told E&E Daily yesterday. "The world market is receptive now."

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Mark Green joined API after a career in newspaper journalism, including 16 years as national editorial writer for The Oklahoman in the paper’s Washington bureau. Mark also was a reporter, copy editor and sports editor. He earned his journalism degree from the University of Oklahoma and master’s in journalism and public affairs from American University. He and his wife Pamela live in Occoquan, Va., where they enjoy their four grandchildren.