By Laura Barron-Lopez - 01/09/14 08:49 AM EST
Talk of repealing a decades-old ban on crude exports has some refiners worried, The Houston Chronicle reports.
A group of refiners took steps toward forming a public campaign against ending the ban on Wednesday.
While oil producers would profit from greater crude exports, refiners would not, as they are currently selling record amounts of gasoline, diesel and other petroleum products to foreign consumers.
“The unlimited export of crude is not in the national interest,” said Bill Day, spokesman for San Antonio-based Valero Energy Corp., according to The Houston Chronicle.
“We’re not so sure who would support such a thing, unless you were a producer and wanted to get a higher price for what you are producing.”
Talk of ending the ban is gaining traction in Washington, D.C. Sen. Lisa Murkowski announced on Tuesday that she supports repealing it and hopes President Obama will take action.
And on Wednesday, Chamber of Commerce CEO Thomas Donohue said the restrictions on crude exports, established in the 1970s amid the Arab oil embargoes, are outdated.
These shifts are what spurred a half-dozen refiners, led by New Jersey-based PBF Energy and Delta Air Lines' Monroe Energy, to get on a phone call Wednesday to establish a strategy for keeping the ban, according to industry sources, The Houston Chronicle reports.