Posted October 9, 2015
It’s a bit early to go into a “victory formation” with the U.S. House of Representatives’ bipartisan vote to pass legislation lifting the United States’ decades-old ban on exporting domestic crude oil. The measure still has to get through the Senate, and President Obama has promised to veto it – vetoing help to consumers, jobs and economic growth, as well as an opportunity to increase America’s global competitiveness while strengthening our security.
Yet, it’s a major step in the direction of making energy history, which ending the export ban surely would represent. It would acknowledge that the world is much changed since the 1970s-era ban was imposed – mainly, that the U.S. energy revolution has rewritten America’s energy narrative while fundamentally reordered the world energy balance. Both compel policymakers to finish the job and lift the export ban. Some reactions after the 261-159 House vote below.
U.S. Rep. Joe Barton of Texas, the legislation’s chief author:
“We had 261 yes votes, which is 60 percent of the House of Representatives. If the Senate will follow our lead we will send this bill to the president of the United States. It’s a good bill, it’s jobs for America, it’s American security overseas, it was bipartisan. … We send it to the Senate, and we really expect we’re going to get this bill to the president’s desk.”
U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana:
“What’s great for America’s economy is also something where we can help our allies around the world. There are a lot of countries that are allies of America that have to get their oil, right now, from countries like Russia, where Vladimir Putin is using that leverage to hurt our friends in other countries. Now they can actually get that oil from us, creating American jobs, instead of getting it from hostile countries. … Let’s stop being the only country in the world that bans the export of its oil.”
Karen Harbert of the U.S. Chamber’s Institute for 21st Century Energy:
“Today’s vote was a vote for the American economy, for American competitiveness and for increasing America’s national security. On the economic side this bill will create jobs, revenue and investment in an economy that is still struggling … On the competitiveness side, this bill will keep gasoline prices low. It is good for the consumer, it is good for the American family. That’s a win-win. It is also a vote for increasing America’s national security. There are countries all around the globe that have long sought to dominate the energy market through leveraging their oil assets. We will now be able to be a participant in that market, we will be able to (stand) with our allies and supply them. … That means it’s a win-win-win.”
Jack Gerard, API president and CEO:
“Study after study shows we can potentially lower the price of gasoline here in America between 2 and 12 cents a gallon. Second, study after study shows it will create somewhere between 300,000 and 1 million American jobs, well-paying jobs, right here at home. Last, and equally important, it puts us on a path to energy security, specifically national security, allowing us to compete with nations like Iran and Russia. It’s difficult for us to understand why this administration would work so hard to lift sanctions for Iran while at the same time resisting and keeping in place sanctions on America.”
“We’ve unfortunately had to lay people off, so now what we need is opportunity to put them back to work, to create more jobs. Lifting the ban on crude exports gives a new market. And that’s a great irony, where the administration has worked so hard to lift the ban on the Iranians, yet at the same time they continue to resist allowing U.S. producers to compete in the global market. … We need all the jobs we can get. The great thing about this is it’s a job creator, drives down the price of gasoline, makes us more energy secure as a nation.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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.