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Letter: crude oil exports

Hydrocarbon Engineering,

Below are highlights from a letter to the US House of Energy Commerce Committee and Subcommittee on Energy and Power from a selection of US petroleum and oil associations on crude oil exports.

“We are no longer a nation in energy decline. To the contrary, we now live in an age of energy abundance, our national energy policy must reflect that new reality, and we must have the political boldness to accept the economic, energy and national security opportunities of being a world energy superpower.

“Unimaginable at the start of this century, we now have growing surpluses of domestic crude oil that exceed the domestic market’s interest or ability to purchase it. Faced with the prospect of not being able to find domestic buyers, US producers must confront the decision of not expanding production, shutting down rigs and laying off employees, which threatens the continued economic and employment benefits to the nation that have accompanied this transition toward increased energy sufficiency. The solution is to allow us to sell the excess production above what our domestic market can absorb to customers abroad.

“Free trade has always been a key driver of American prosperity, and competitive and open markets facilitate, investment and innovation which foster economic growth and opportunities for America’s workforce. Specific to the recent renaissance in American crude oil production which has lead the nation’s economic recovery, our industry has generated millions of high paying direct and indirect jobs. As importantly, we have seen a shift in our workforce demographics creating new career opportunities for minorities and women, communities historically underrepresented in this industry. These good paying jobs are transforming not just the workers’ lives but also their families and communities. Lifting the now counter productive 1970s era prohibition on the export of American crude oil and giving US crude producers access to customers in global markets will maintain this momentum and continue to grow these job opportunities.”

“Current global events are revealing that there is an historic opportunity for the US, as an international energy superpower, to acquire the exercise and unique geopolitical influence that comes with that enviable status. President Obama repeatedly acknowledges the fact that the US is on its way to becoming the number one nation in crude oil production. As we increasingly hear loud and clear from nations around the world who want to strengthen their economic and security ties to the US so they can mitigate the leverage exerted by unfriendly energy supplying nations, Congress and the Administration need to accept the singularly powerful strategic opportunity that US crude oil exports offer as an effective tool in international markets, and for our global diplomacy and national security.

“The time has come to liberate America from the self imposed and self defeating constraints of the counter productive oil export prohibition.”

Edited from letter by Claira Lloyd

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