U.S. Chamber’s Harbert Urges Senate Panel to Lift Oil Export Ban

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The FINANCIAL — In testimony before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee today, Karen Harbert, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber’s Institute for 21st Century Energy, told Senators that lifting the ban oil crude oil exports should be a top priority as energy legislation is considered this year.

“While there are many long overdue reforms being considered by the Energy Committee, the one that will have the single biggest positive impact is lifting the outdated ban on crude oil exports,” said Harbert. “Allowing the U.S. to export oil will benefit our economy and reduce the influence of countries and groups that use oil exports for purposes inconsistent with America’s interests.”

The U.S. Chamber strongly supports bipartisan legislation sponsored by Energy Committee Chairman Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) to lift the ban. 

“Additional supply from the U.S. would create downward price pressure on the price of crude globally, which will benefit consumers,” Harbert said. “In addition, lifting the ban will allow oil production to ramp up, creating jobs and generating much-needed revenue.”

A study by IHS found that allowing oil exports will support an average of 400,000 jobs per year, and generate an additional $1.3 trillion in government revenue through 2030. Lifting the ban would also add $265 in additional disposable income to every American household.

“The world has witnessed how Russia has used oil and natural gas exports to force countries in Europe and Asia to acquiesce to its geopolitical and economic demands, Harbert continued. “Providing a new, reliable source of oil for these markets would improve the negotiating position for our allies and make the world a more stable place.”

Harbert noted that the Chamber’s Energy Institute will play an active role with business leaders, local chambers, and civic groups to convince Congress and the administration to lift the ban. 


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