A House subcommittee will vote Thursday on whether to lift the 40-year-old ban on exporting crude oil.
Lawmakers in the Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Power will be the first ones to consider legislation by Rep. Joe BartonJoe Linus BartonRep. Ron Wright dies after contracting COVID-19 Biden's gain is Democratic baseball's loss with Cedric Richmond Bottom line MORE (R-Texas) to open the United States’s oil market to the world.
The action follows more than a year of hearings, discussion and lobbying on Capitol Hill about whether it’s appropriate to continue restricting exports amid historically high domestic production.
Committee Chairman Fred UptonFrederick (Fred) Stephen UptonThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Alibaba - Democrats argue price before policy amid scramble Fifth House Republican comes out in support of bipartisan infrastructure bill Democratic leaders racing toward Monday infrastructure vote MORE (R-Mich.) and subpanel Chairman Ed WhitfieldWayne (Ed) Edward WhitfieldBottom Line Why Republicans took aim at an ethics watchdog What Azerbaijan wants from Israel? MORE (R-Ky.) said in a statement that oil exports would bring a number of wide-ranging benefits.
“Our newfound abundance has been a game changer, making President Ford’s oil export ban obsolete,” they said.
“The benefits of lifting the ban are many — it would boost domestic energy production, create jobs, and improve our energy security.”
Previously, Upton refused to fully support exports but said they could benefit the United States and its allies in a number of ways.
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) announced his support for exports in July as the House was leaving for the August recess.
Thursday’s subcommittee vote means GOP leaders decided to let the legislation go through committee consideration instead of fast-tracking it for a vote on the House floor. The vote puts the measure on track for House passage this fall.
Many Democrats, along with environmentalists and some labor and oil refiner interests, want to keep the export plan in place. They say exports could boost oil consumption and increase domestic prices, a position that numerous reports, including one last week from the Energy Information Administration, refute.
The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee voted to lift the export ban in early August.