Major Effort to Lift Oil Export Ban

Despite a fear of rising gasoline prices at the pump, a strong lobbying effort will be aimed at persuading lawmakers and administration officials that the United States can afford to export crude oil now that the country is the world’s biggest oil producer.

  • The U.S. pumps more than eight million barrels of oil a day.
  • An increase of 55 percent from five years ago.
  • The U.S. still imports 33 percent of its oil from foreign sources.
  • Oil imports are at the lowest level since 1985.

A broad view by the public is that U.S. oil should stay at home will test export proponents. A majority of voters, 53 percent, opposed exporting oil in a poll conducted this year by FTI Consulting. Republican voters opposed oil exports more than Democrats did, the poll found.

However, according to a study by IHS last May, lifting the ban on U.S. crude oil exports would lead to:

  • Increase current U.S. production from 8.2 million B/D currently to 11.2 million B/D.
  • Add investment of nearly $750 billion.
  • Cut the U.S. oil import bill by an average of $67 billion per year.

At present, the current policy is discouraging additional crude oil supplies from being brought to market, which actually makes gasoline prices higher than they otherwise would be.

The additional crude oil supply that would be generated if exports restrictions were removed would:

  • Lower gasoline prices by an annual average of 8 cents per gallon.
  • Save U.S. motorists $265 billion for during the 2016-2030 period.

The increased economic activity resulting from the rise in crude production would support an average of:

  • 394,000 additional U.S. jobs over the 2016-2030 period
  • With a peak of 964,000 jobs in 2018.

Doing away with exports restrictions would also generate added benefits to U.S. household income, gross domestic product (GDP) and government revenues. The average disposable income per household would increase by an additional $391 in 2018 as benefits from increased investment.

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