Hoeven Statement on Highway Bill Extension and Work to Include Legislation Lifting the Ban on Crude Oil Exports in Long-Term Bill

Senator Again Highlights Benefits of Oil Exports on Senate Floor

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven today released the following statement after the Senate passed a short-term highway bill extension through Dec. 4, which will ensure highway funding while the conference committee finalizes a long-term highway bill. Hoeven said that long-term bill should include legislation lifting the ban on U.S. oil exports. On the Senate floor this week, Hoeven again outlined the benefits of oil exports for U.S. consumers, the U.S. energy industry and the American economy.

“I’m disappointed that we had to pass another short-term extension, but this will provide the conference committee time to finish their work so we can get a long-term bill in place before the end of the year,” said Hoeven, “We need the certainty of a long-term highway bill so we can plan for and build the roads, bridges and other infrastructure we need in growing communities. Additionally, the ban on crude oil exports has long outlived its usefulness and repealing it is long overdue. For consumers, jobs, the economy and national security, we need to come together and lift the ban. We can do that by including legislation lifting the crude oil ban in the bipartisan highway bill that is on track to pass Congress soon.”

Hoeven outlined several key reasons in making the case for allowing exports:

  • Crude oil exports will benefit American consumers. The price of oil is based on supply and demand – the more oil on the market, the lower the price to consumers. More global supply means lower prices for gasoline and other fuels and more money in consumers’ pockets. Those facts are backed up by studies at both the EIA and the non-partisan Brookings Institute.
  • Crude oil exports will benefit the American economy. Crude oil exports will increase revenues and boost overall economic growth. It will help increase wages, create jobs, and improve our balance of trade. Local economies also benefit. Service industries, retail and other businesses in communities centered on oil development would see more economic activity and growth if this antiquated ban is lifted.
  • Crude Oil Exports will benefit the U.S. energy industry. The latest study by U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) concluded that lifting the ban will reduce the discount for light sweet crude oil produced in states like North Dakota and Texas and encourage investment in domestic energy production. The drop in the price of oil this year has slowed domestic production, but the dedicated workers and companies in the Bakken continue to produce oil because they are resilient and innovative; they are developing new technologies and techniques to become more cost-effective and efficient all the time.
  • Crude oil exports will help to bring our energy policy into the 21st Century. The crude oil export ban is an economic strategy implemented in the 1970’s, and the world has changed dramatically since then. Back then, the conventional wisdom was that there is a finite quantity of oil in the world, and we pretty much knew where it was. Nobody envisioned the kind of energy revolution we’re seeing in North Dakota, Texas and elsewhere in the country.
  • Last, but not least, crude oil exports will strengthen national security. U.S. crude oil will provide our allies with alternative sources of oil and free them from their reliance on energy from unstable parts of the world. We finally have an opportunity to curb the disproportionate influence OPEC has had on the world oil market for five decades, and we should take it. The President’s deal with Iran lifts sanctions against Iranian oil – bringing 1 million barrels a day of their product on the global market, sending jobs, revenues and economic growth to Iran while blocking the same benefits for American citizens. We need to lift the ban.