Hoeven Working to Attach Measure Lifting the Oil Export Ban to Highway Bill

Lifting the U.S. Ban on Crude Oil Exports Will Help Williston Basin, North Dakota

WILLISTON, N.D. – Senator John Hoeven will address a large gathering of oil industry leaders this evening, telling them that lifting the 40-year-old ban on exporting crude oil would be good for consumers, good for the Bakken and good for the country. The senator is working to attach a measure that will lift the ban to the new highway bill set to pass Congress this month.

Hoeven will make his remarks at the 2015 Williston Petroleum Banquet, sponsored by the Williston Basin Chapter of API. The senator will join in celebrating the successes of the energy industry in western North Dakota, thank the men and women who work in the Bakken and congratulate those being honored with achievement awards.

“Lifting the U.S. ban on crude oil exports will benefit not only our nation and our allies, but also North Dakota and the men and women in the Williston Basin whose dedication and ingenuity is helping our state lead the nation in energy production,” according to Hoeven. “We know you face challenges, and we thank you for your contribution to our state’s energy industry. That’s why I am working to include legislation lifting the ban in the new highway bill that Congress is on track to pass. It is must-pass legislation, which means it will be hard for the president to veto, and the benefits of allowing crude oil exports are multiple.”

Hoeven cites key benefits in making the case for allowing exports:

  • Crude oil exports will benefit the U.S. energy industry. The latest study by the 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 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 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 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.

As a member of the U.S. Senate Energy Committee, Hoeven has worked extensively to further the energy industry in North Dakota and the nation. That includes working to reduce the regulatory burdens that drive up the costs of energy production. The senator has introduced the Empower States Act, which ensures a states-first approach to regulating hydraulic fracturing. He is also working to repeal rules like the BLM Hydraulic Fracturing rule, the onerous Waters of the U.S. rule and other regulations that are hampering domestic energy development and driving up the cost of energy for consumers.