White House threatens veto on crude oil exports bill

White House threatens veto on crude oil exports bill
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The Obama administration has formally threatened a veto on a House bill that would lift the federal ban on crude oil exports. 

In a statement of administration policy, the Office of Management and Budget said that “legislation to remove crude export restrictions is not needed at this time.”

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“Rather, Congress should be focusing its efforts on supporting our transition to a low-carbon economy,” the statement said. It added that instead of pushing crude oil exports, Congress should focus on “supporting our transition to a low-carbon economy.”

“It could do this through a variety of measures, including ending the billions of dollars a year in federal subsidies provided to oil companies and instead investing in wind, solar, energy efficiency, and other clean technologies to meet America's energy needs.”

Obama spokesman Josh Earnest said last month that the White House opposed a House push to lift the export ban, saying the Commerce Department already has the right to approve some crude oil exports.

Congressional support for lifting the 40-year-old ban on crude oil exports has ballooned this year, with those in favor arguing that allowing American crude on the world market will help the industry and create American jobs.

The House will vote on the measure this week, and two Senate panels have approved similar legislation this year. 

Rep. Joe Barton's (R-Texas) bill is expected to hit the House floor Friday. That legislation has a handful of Democratic co-sponsors, and Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) told the House Rules Committee on Wednesday that it could win even more Democratic support if members were allowed to offer amendments to the bill on the floor. 

“Help me to help you, help me to help the constituents of my district, to assist all job-seeking Americans by allowing amendments to be entertained on this bill,” he said.