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December 14, 2015

There’s Still Time: Call Your Lawmakers Today To Tell Them To Lift The U.S. Export Ban

U.S. lawmakers were not able to finish up their pre-holiday work last week and remain in session for the early part of this week. One of the items still on Congress’s to-do list is a full-year fiscal year (FY) 2016 omnibus spending bill. 

As part of the debate on this must-pass legislation, lawmakers could consider adding a provision that would end the U.S.’s 40-year-old ban on crude oil exports. MSCI strongly supports ending the ban and, with our partners at the Energy Equipment and Infrastructure Alliance (EEIA), worked hard last week to generate support for adding this provision to the FY 2016 omnibus. Final text of the bill is due today so lawmakers can vote on a final bill by Wednesday. 

At press time, it was unclear whether a provision lifting the ban had made it into the final legislation. Regardless, MSCI still urges its members to call their federal lawmakers to tell them to support repealing the oil export ban. Even if a provision doesn’t make it into the FY 2016 omnibus, MSCI and EEIA plan to continue to push this policy in 2016. 

According to Politico, there appears to be increasing Democratic support for ending the ban even though the Obama administration has said it opposes the policy. MSCI supports a repeal because it would create jobs and reduce energy prices. 

Last week The Wall Street Journal editorial board wrote in favor of ending the ban. The board noted, “Ending the ban would allow U.S. producers to sell oil at higher prices in the world market and reduce their ballooning inventories. Consumers would be largely unaffected since gasoline prices are linked to the global price of crude oil.” Journal subscribers can read the full editorial here. Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation President and CEO Stephen Gold also wrote in support of ending the ban. Gold argued ending the ban will “raise the fortunes” of the U.S. manufacturing industry. MSCI members can read Gold’s column here.