U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, announced plans to introduce legislation this year to end the 40-year-old ban on exporting domestic crude oil production.
In her keynote address to national and international energy leaders at the 34th annual CERAWeek on Monday, Murkowski said that over the next few months, a series of hearings and markups will be held, with the aim of advancing the bill to consideration on the Senate floor later this summer.
“America has entered an era of energy abundance. Imports are down, and so are prices. We are on the verge of being able to help our allies and trading partners with our energy – instead of competing with them for supply from others,” Murkowski said.
Murkowski called many federal energy policies, including the prohibition on oil exports, “alarmingly deficient and outdated” and highlighted the importance of reforming the nation’s energy policies.
According to the Senator, there are many studies and economic principles that show why the export ban should be repealed. But the latest case in point comes from the Obama Administration’s nuclear deal with Iran.
She also noted the urgency of ending the ban, as American sanctions on Iran could soon be lifted bringing as much as 1 million barrels a day of Iranian oil onto the global market.
“The United States has a general prohibition – a ‘ban’ – on exports of domestic crude oil. To me, this equates to a sanctions regime against ourselves,” Murkowski said. “It hurts American producers, who have to sell oil at a significant discount to Brent, and it hurts American consumers, whose prices at the pump are higher than they would otherwise be.”
“We should not lift sanctions on Iranian oil while keeping sanctions on American oil. It makes no sense,” Murkowski added.