GOP chairwoman to sponsor bill to lift oil export ban

GOP chairwoman to sponsor bill to lift oil export ban
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Sen. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiThis week: GOP mulls vote on ‘abolish ICE’ legislation Dem infighting erupts over Supreme Court pick McConnell: Senate to confirm Kavanaugh by Oct. 1 MORE (R-Alaska) said she will introduce a bill this year to end the 40-year-old ban on exporting crude oil.

Murkowski, chairwoman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, told energy executives Monday that the ban is severely holding U.S. producers back, Reuters reported.

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“It’s time to lift America’s ban on crude oil exports,” Murkowski said at CERAWeek, a conference in Houston.

“We shouldn’t lift sanctions on Iranian oil while we are keeping restrictions on American oil. It just doesn't make sense," she added, according to the news service.

Murkowski has long called for President Obama to relax the ban, saying he can declare that exports to certain countries be allowed. The U.S. currently exports oil to Canada, for example.

She suggested allowing exports to Mexico and NATO allies like Italy, the Netherlands and Poland, according to the Houston Chronicle.

Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) has sponsored legislation in the House to lift the ban.

Many Democrats and environmentalists want to keep the ban in place. They fear that lifting it could significantly increase energy prices domestically or induce demand for oil.