Lawmakers Urge Crude Oil Export Ban be Lifted

By  | 

Things are a lot different now then in 1973. We've had eight presidents and we have social media tools like Facebook and Twitter.

But at least one thing remains the same; a ban on crude oil exports.

Under current law, the U.S. cannot export a vast majority of crude oil, but now some lawmakers are pushing to lift that ban with a bill called the Energy Supply and Distribution Act of 2015.

Lawmakers say it might have a positive effect on your wallet.

One senator pushing hard on this subject is Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D.

"I don't believe that we should restrict the movement of any commodity," Heitkamp said.

Heitkamp says by not lifting this ban the nation's security could be at risk.

"You jeopardize our energy security because if a product can't find its natural market people will naturally stop producing it," Heitkamp said.

Rep. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., is also pushing to lift this ban. He says back in the 1970s there was a shortage of natural resources, but now, there is an abundance.

"The technology is what has created the abundance, the oil has always been there. Now we have countless almost barrels of oil just because of the advances in technology," Cramer said.

But some say the ban should remain in place because refiners could lose profits and may not lower gas prices.

"In fact exactly the opposite is true; it keeps gas prices unnecessarily high and that's another reason. It's good for consumers, it's good for the producing industry, it's good for our energy security, national security," Heitkamp said.

Security, Cramer says, is one of the main issues, as the U.S. could grow its influence better by providing the world with these resources.

"By becoming the reliable source so that our allies and friends don't have to rely on Russia, or OPEC or Venezuela for that matter, can rely on the stabilizing free market system the United States makes we bring a stabilization to the world," Cramer said.

This bill is now referred to Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.