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Porter to Congress: Lift the export ban

When Saudi Arabia placed an embargo on oil in the 1970s, the U.S. banned oil exportation in hopes of preserving the nation’s energy security. But according to Texas Railroad Commission Chairman David Porter and six other oil and gas experts present at Tuesday’s House Committee on Agriculture hearing in Washington D.C., it’s time to lift the ban.

“The world today is a much different place and the circumstances we faced in the 1970s are no longer relevant or true today,” he said, calling the ban a “leftover relic.”

The hearing aimed to address HR 702 and HR 156—two GOP-pitched bills aimed at eradicating the U.S. ban on exporting oil, the Houston Business Journal reports. Porter delivered a testimony asserting that the U.S. refining capacity can’t economically accommodate the nation’s production spike in light sweet crude.

“Our oil is essentially trapped in the U.S., creating a supply glut that is driving down the price of U.S. oil,” Porter said in his testimony. “This represents billions of dollars of lost revenue that could be pumped back into the U.S. economy.”

If U.S. oil and gas producers were given the go-ahead to export, crude oil would be sent to countries with a higher demand for light sweet crude, including South Korea, Europe and South America.

Congressman Henry Cuellar, a Laredo Democrat, also support a light on the ban, which he says failed to achieve its initial goal:

New technology has allowed us to safely extract and produce more oil which, in turn, has provided tens of thousands of good-paying jobs to skilled workers and has revitalized local economies throughout the country. In Texas, and across the country, we are now producing more oil than the last few decades, even beating out Saudi Arabia as the world’s largest producer of petroleum liquids. Lifting the crude oil ban would increase domestic crude oil production in the US and support new jobs and better infrastructure.

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