July 28, 2015

Shelby Statement at Hearing on Lifting the Crude Oil Export Ban

WASHINGTON, DC – Tuesday, July 28, 2015 – U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), Chairman of the United States Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, today delivered the following opening remarks during a full committee hearing on “Lifting the Crude Oil Export Ban.”
The text of Chairman Shelby’s remarks, as prepared, is below.  
“The Committee convenes today to receive testimony regarding the prospect of lifting the ban on U.S. crude oil exports.
“Approximately forty years ago, Congress imposed the oil export ban as part of a comprehensive set of price and export controls on a variety of industries. 
“We learned in subsequent years that such anti-competitive policies hampered job creation and harmed American consumers.
“Despite long-outliving its purpose, the ban on the export of crude oil remains in place today, with only a few exceptions.
“Due to the advancement of technology and other techniques that facilitate oil extraction, the United States has undergone an energy boom during the past several years. 
“In fact, it has become the world’s largest total producer of oil, according to the Energy Information Administration.  
“As a result, the oil and gas industry has added tens of thousands of jobs, with the potential to significantly bolster this number as production increases. 
“As others have noted, there is often confusion about the impact that lifting the crude oil ban will have on gasoline prices at the pump. 
“To be clear, prices at the pump are largely determined by the world oil market, of which the United States is just one of many countries that participates. 
“Studies from Columbia University, the Brookings Institution, and the Government Accountability Office, among others, cite that lifting the ban is likely to reduce the price of gasoline for American consumers by increasing the supply of crude oil available to the world market.
“Consumers, U.S. jobs, and economic growth could all benefit from an increase in the domestic production of oil.  The export ban in place today is economically inefficient by artificially discouraging production.
“Lifting the ban could also benefit the geo-political position of the United States and reduce worldwide reliance on OPEC nations and Russia, not to mention Iran, which could be soon ramping up oil production under the terms of the Administration’s nuclear deal.
“Today’s hearing will discuss the impact of reversing the oil export ban, a policy within this Committee’s jurisdiction.  It is one that I believe has held back our economic potential for at least a decade.
“Today we will welcome the testimony of Senator Murkowski, who chairs the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, as well as the testimony of Senator Hoeven.  Both have advanced this issue in multiple ways and have valuable insights to share.  Following their testimony, we will hear from a panel of academic and industry experts.
“I would also like to acknowledge our own Senator Heitkamp, who has worked tirelessly on this issue. 
“Her efforts along with our other colleagues have led to increased public awareness of the facts and have inspired today’s hearing.”