White House doesn't feel pressure to lift oil export ban, adviser says

The White House is not rushing to act on the decades-old crude oil export ban and doesn't feel pressured to, a senior White House adviser said.

In an interview with Reuters, John Podesta said recent moves by the Commerce Department to allow more shipments of ultra-light crude oil overseas are relieving the pressure.

"At this stage, I think that what the Commerce Department did in December sort of resolves the debate. We felt comfortable with where they went," Podesta told the news service.

"If you look at what's going on in the market and actions that the Department took, I think that ... there's not a lot of pressure to do more," Podesta added.

The comments offer a more substantial understanding of where the administration stands on the issue.

Previously, the administration had said it was reviewing the policy, which has recently become a hot button topic in Congress.

An increasing number of Republicans and oil companies have questioned the need to keep in place a ban, which they consider outdated.

The recent drop in the price of oil has also added fuel to the debate, with proponents of lifting the ban arguing now is the time.