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October 5, 2015

MSCI-Supported Campaign To End U.S. Ban On Oil Exports Achieves Another Victory

Last Thursday, on a 13 to nine vote, the U.S Senate Committee on Banking passed a bill, S. 1372, American Crude Oil Export Equality Act, that would repeal the United States’ ban on exports of crude oil. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), the bill’s sponsor, was the only Democrat to support the legislation. Republicans on the panel voted unanimously for it. The White House does not support S. 1372. 

The vote is a significant victory for MSCI in its efforts to overturn the export ban. Those efforts will take another step forward next week when the U.S. House votes on its bill to repeal the ban. 

 MSCI and its partners at the Energy Equipment and Infrastructure Alliance (EEIA) sent a letter last week to House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) urging them to support a repeal of the ban. The letter said a recent loss in energy supply chain jobs is due in part to the ban and argued, “Enabling free trade in U.S. crude oil will turn this situation around, putting these skilled Americans back to work.” The letter noted, “Studies show that the additional production of crude oil for export will create over 400,000 new supply chain jobs throughout the country by 2018” and that “many of these jobs will be in the skilled trades, such as factory workers, equipment operators and maintenance technicians, construction workers, truck drivers, and welders.” Indeed, “IHS Economics reports that for every one job created in crude oil production, there are three more created in supply chain companies,” the letter said and, “adding to the economic power of these jobs, when their workers earn and spend their incomes, the induced effect of their spending creates six more jobs in the general economy.”

 MSCI urges its members to call their U.S. representative to ask that they vote for H.R. 702, the bill to repeal the U.S. ban on crude oil exports, next week. Before making that call, check out the EEIA’s website, which provides information about the number of jobs that would be created in each congressional district and state by repealing the ban. 

Ending the ban would also help raise government revenues and reduce the federal budget deficit. Last week the American Action Forum reported that the ban on crude exports had reduced sales by U.S. oil producers by $1.2 trillion (higher profits generate higher tax revenues for local, state and federal governments) while the Congressional Budget Office said ending the ban would increase government revenues by $1.4 billion. To learn more about how ending the ban would benefit the U.S. economy and the metals and manufacturing industries, check out this story from Connecting the Dots back in May.