The Honorable Joe Barton
United States House of Representatives
2107 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Dear Representative Barton:
On behalf of the members of National Taxpayers Union (NTU), I write in strong support of H.R. 702, a bill that would repeal Section 103 of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975, lifting the near-40 year ban on crude oil exports.
Thanks to technological advancements in energy extraction, the United States has eclipsed Saudi Arabia and Russia on the way to becoming the world’s number one crude oil producer. However, misalignments within the supply chain and refiners’ need for heavy crude from abroad has created an artificial cap on the domestic crude market. Without access to new markets, U.S. crude producers have no room to increase their capacity. Ending the outdated crude oil export ban would ensure the economic activity needed to maintain a thriving energy industry and unleash the enormous potential of the ongoing energy boom.
Estimates vary, but study after study has demonstrated that repealing the crude oil export ban would be an enormous economic boon to taxpayers by adding hundreds of thousands of new jobs to the economy, increasing GDP by billions, and enhancing household income. In addition to a major boost to the energy sector, downstream manufacturing jobs would also see major – and much needed – gains from liberalizing our crude export policy.
Concerns over gasoline price increases are overblown and repealing the export ban should have little impact. Gasoline prices are determined by the global market where, unlike unrefined crude, it is freely traded. Global markets for crude and other energy products are driven by a complex array of factors and increasing global supply by injecting U.S. crude could actually help stabilize the world market, as well as giving allies more import options.
As economies develop and increase the global demand for reliable, affordable energy sources, U.S. crude producers shouldn’t be cut off from prospective markets. It’s time to stop treating crude oil any differently from other freely traded, and equally valuable, commodities. NTU is pleased to endorse H.R. 702 and urges all Representatives to support the legislation.
Federal Affairs Manager