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Fuel refiner group warns vulnerable senators against oil exports

A coalition of petroleum refiners released surveys Wednesday to warn Sens. Mark KirkMark Steven KirkThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - Senate makes SCOTUS nominee Barrett a proxy for divisive 2020 Senate Republicans scramble to put Trump at arm's length Liberal veterans group urges Biden to name Duckworth VP MORE (R-Ill.) and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) against voting to lift the ban on crude oil exports.

Consumers and Refiners United for Domestic Energy, or the CRUDE Coalition, commissioned the polls, which show that significant numbers of voters in Illinois and Pennsylvania — though not majorities — want to keep the ban on oil exports in place.

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Kirk and Toomey are among the most vulnerable senators up for reelection next year, and are two top targets for Democrats hoping to take back the Senate majority.

“It is clear from these results that the export ban on crude oil is a complicated issue that is tied closely to core concerns of a diverse collection of ideological and demographic groups,” Wilson Perkins Allen Opinion Research, which conducted the polling, said of the Illinois results.

In Pennsylvania, the firm concluded that “voters will indeed be using their fear of foreign dependency on oil when casting their votes this election season.”

Among Illinois voters, 46 percent said they favored keeping the 40-year-old export ban in place, compared with 42 percent opposed.

In Pennsylvania, 49 percent support the ban on exports, and only 39 percent want to lift it.

Similar numbers of voters in both states said that they were likely to vote for Senate candidates who agreed with their positions.