A - Export Ship

Americans for Tax Reform today sent a letter to members of Congress urging them to support an amendment offered by Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) to H.R. 8, the North American Energy Infrastructure Act,  that would lift the outdated federal ban on crude oil exports.  

The current ban on the export of crude oil is a relic of 1970’s policy, enacted in response to fears of a domestic energy shortage. Yet today this outdated ban is no longer justified with domestic production at an all time high and the U.S. now one of the world’s leading energy producers.

By acting to lift this outdated ban, the U.S. will be able to fully realize the economic benefits of the ongoing renaissance in domestic energy production. Below is the full text of the letter:

Dear Speaker Ryan and Majority Leader McCarthy: 

On behalf of Americans for Tax Reform and millions of taxpayers nationwide, I respectively urge you to support an amendment offered by Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) to H.R. 8, the North American Energy Infrastructure Act, which would effectively lift the ban on crude oil exports. The current ban on the export of crude oil is not only outdated, but lifting the ban will ensure the creation of new jobs, increased economic growth, and lower domestic gas prices. 

Countless experts and studies have shown lifting the ban on exports would have widespread economic benefits for the country. A recent study by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found lifting the ban would “increase the size of the economy, with implications for employment, investment, public revenue and trade.” 

The GAO’s findings are echoed by over a dozen other studies that show lifting the ban would contribute millions of new jobs to the economy over the next few years, and increase U.S. GDP by $73 billion in 2016 with an additional increase of $134 billion in 2018. Additionally, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) found “gasoline prices, would be either unchanged of slightly reduced by the removal of current restrictions on crude oil exports.”    

Lifting the crude oil export ban is also projected to increase average disposable income per household by $391 in 2018. A recent study by the Aspen Institute further found that real household income could increase up to $3,000 per household over the next ten years as a result of lifting the ban. 

ATR has also continued to support H.R. 702, sponsored by Representative Joe Barton of Texas, which would lift the outdated crude oil export ban. We were happy to see the measure recently pass the House with a bipartisan vote of 261-159, which enjoyed the support of 26 Democrats and a majority of House Republicans.

Considering the widespread economic benefits lifting the export ban would have on the U.S. economy, as well as the growing bipartisan support, there has never been a better time for Congress to act. By lifting the export ban Congress can ensure the creation of millions of new jobs, billions in increased GDP, and reductions in domestic gas prices. 

It is for these reasons that I respectively urge you to support Rep. Barton’s amendment to H.R. 8, to lift the ban on crude oil exports. 


Grover G. Norquist             
Americans for Tax Reform

Photo credit: USDA