September 8, 2015

U.S. Agency: Ending U.S. Oil Export Ban Won’t Raise Gas Prices

Last Tuesday, the Energy Information Administration, a federal government agency, released a report that said ending the U.S. ban on crude oil exports would not raise consumers’ gas prices. (Proponents of the ban have argued ending it would cause gas price spikes.) The EIA report said, “[P]roduct prices in the United States, including gasoline prices, would be either unchanged or slightly reduced by the removal of current restrictions on crude oil exports.” 

As the U.S. Chamber of Commerce noted last week, other studies have reached the same conclusion. 

As a reminder, earlier this summer, with its partners at the Energy Equipment and Infrastructure Alliance (EEIA), MSCI signed a letter to Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) in support of their bill, S. 1312, the Energy Supply and Distribution Act of 2015, to end the ban on U.S. exports of crude oil. The letter argued, “Opening global markets to U.S. producers will support added domestic production that will create hundreds of thousands of new jobs and contribute tens of billions of GDP dollars in the supply chain within the next few years. At the same time, we will put downward pressure on domestic fuel prices, while we provide our allies and trading partners with an alternative to sourcing energy from unfriendly and unstable sources.” 

A report commissioned by EEIA found lifting the export ban would create nearly 440,000 supply chain jobs by 2018 and would also add $64 billion to GDP by the same year. The benefits would continue through at least 2030. The report, conducted by IHS Energy/IHS Economics, showed ending the ban will benefit every state and every congressional district and will even have significant benefits for states where there is little crude oil production. For example, the report found even though there is little energy production in Illinois, the state accounts for about 10 percent of the overall supply chain impact because manufacturers there provide products and services to U.S. energy producers. 

MSCI members can find detailed summaries of how ending the ban would impact their states and congressional districts at the IHS website