The current ban on the export of U.S. crude oil is outdated policy; a decades old relic derived from 1970s concerns over supply shortages. Today however, U.S. crude production is higher than ever and the time has come for America to capitalize on this surplus. Lifting the crude oil export ban would not only create millions of new jobs but would also lower gas prices while increasing per household income and GDP.
Over the past decade the U.S. energy sector has been the greatest generator of domestic jobs. Allowing the export of crude oil will create more employment opportunities while lowering the unemployment rate. According to recent finding by IHS Global, U.S. job increases could reach as high as 859,000 annually over the next few years. In fact, at a recent hearing held by the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, Representative Ed Whitfield (R-Ky.) cited that in its peak year of 2018, lifting the ban would create roughly 1,000,000 jobs.
Of these potential jobs, 10 percent would be created in actual oil production while 30 percent would come from industries that support drilling such as construction, oil field trucks and information technology. The Aspen Institute estimates that: the manufacturing sector would gain 216,000 jobs by 2017; the mining industry would gain 43,000 annually through 2025; and the construction industry would see 37,000 new jobs annually over the next ten years.
Lifting the export ban would also lower the price Americans pay at the pump. By allowing U.S. exports, global supply would increase and in turn global prices would be reduced. Since U.S. gasoline prices are determined by global prices, a reduction in global prices would in turn lower domestic prices. The Institute for Human Studies estimates that introducing US crude oil to the global economy would reduce gasoline prices by 8 cents per gallon. This would save motorists $265 million over the next 15 years.
Lower gas prices and increased employment would have ripple effects across the Nation’s economy. In it’s study IHS Global further found that lifting the ban would increase American GDP by $135 billion and increase per household income by $391.
There are currently ongoing efforts in both the House and Senate to lift the export ban. Congressman Joe Barton (R-Texas) has introduced H.R. 702 in the House that would lift the ban and Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) has introduced similar legislation in the Senate.
It is clear the time has come to lift this outdated ban. Domestic crude production is at an all time high and the shortages that led to the ban nearly four decades ago are a relic of the past.
Lifting the federal ban on exporting US crude oil would benefit the American economy by creating jobs, lowering the price of gas, and moving the U.S. towards energy independence. Americans for Tax Reform encourages lawmakers to act swiftly on this important matter.