Murkowski, Hoeven Offer Legislation to Allow Crude Oil Exports

WASHINGTON — Senator John Hoeven today joined Senate Energy Committee Chairman Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) to introduce the Energy Supply and Distribution Act of 2015, legislation that would lift the decades-long ban on U.S. crude oil exports. Specifically, the measure would authorize exports of crude oil and condensate produced in the United States without requiring a federal license, on the same basis as exports of refined petroleum products are currently authorized.

Hoeven said the benefit to North Dakota in terms of both jobs and economic activity would be significant. According to a recent study by economic analyst IHS Inc., North Dakota could gain more than 22,000 jobs and $4.81 billion in state economic growth.

“Lifting the decades-old law banning U.S. producers from selling their product on the world market will help produce more energy, grow our economy and create more jobs, both in North Dakota and across the nation,” Hoeven said. “In addition, according to the Energy Information Administration, removing the ban will increase the supply of oil on the world market, bringing the price of crude down globally, which will bring down the price of gasoline and other fuels for consumers.”

That assessment was also the conclusion of a report by the nonpartisan Brookings Institute, which found that “lifting the ban on crude oil exports from the United States will boost U.S. economic growth, wages, employment, trade and overall welfare.” The report estimated that gasoline prices would decrease by 9 cents per gallon in 2015 and up to 12 cents per gallon if oil supplies are greater than currently projected.

Additionally, Brookings found that opening the market by 2015 reduces unemployment at an average annual reduction of 200,000 between 2015 and 2020. Employment impacts are economy wide rather than solely oil industry specific or necessarily new jobs, they said.

“Lifting the ban enhances national energy security by increasing production and reducing volatility in global markets,” Hoeven said. “It also lets our allies know that there is a secure source of crude oil and refined products available to them other than OPEC or Russia.”

The senators’ legislation also preserves the president’s emergency authority, which is already codified in law. This authority allows the president to prohibit exports if such action is warranted for the safety and security of the nation.