by Thomas Catenacci
A large group of House Republicans penned a letter to top Biden administration officials Friday, urging them not to ban U.S. crude oil exports.
The GOP lawmakers, led by Texas Reps. Roger Williams and August Pfluger, said the move would be a “catastrophic mistake” and further exacerbate high energy prices in the letter addressed to Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm and Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo. The congressmen noted that a previous crude oil export ban had been opposed by Democrats and Republicans alike.
“President Biden’s war on American energy continues with his Administration’s latest discussions to reinstate the export ban on crude oil, which was repealed in 2015 on a bipartisan vote,” Williams said in a statement.
“Banning crude oil exports from the U.S. would be a catastrophic mistake that will harm the livelihoods of blue collar workers in the Permian Basin and result in higher prices for international crude, giving Russia more profits,” Pfluger added. “US energy policy should put Midland over Moscow. Even more, an export ban will lead to even higher costs for American families down the line.”
Under the Energy Policy and Conservation Act, the U.S. effectively banned all crude oil exports between 1975-2015. The ban was reversed in December 2015 in an appropriations bill signed by former President Barack Obama.
But Deputy Energy Secretary David Turk confirmed on Wednesday that the White House is actively considering a fresh oil export ban, Reuters reported. A group of 11 left-wing senators, including Ed Markey, Elizabeth Warren and Richard Blumenthal, and a group of House Democrats led by Rep. Ro Khanna sent letters to President Joe Biden on Nov. 8 and Nov. 22 respectively, asking him to ban crude oil exports and tap emergency crude reserves.
The president ordered the Department of Energy to release 50 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve on Nov. 23, a move widely criticized by industry experts. However, he has yet to announce an export ban, which has also faced significant pushback by economists.
“I’m not a fan of banning oil exports,” Mark Zandi, the chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, told CNN. “I doubt it will meaningfully lower gasoline prices, as the price of gas is largely determined by global oil prices and not the price of domestically produced oil. It is also unclear whether domestic refineries would be able to efficiently process the type of oil that the U.S. exports.”
Global analytics and research firm IHS Markit said an export ban would increase gasoline prices, not lower them.
“A U.S. crude oil export ban would make the situation worse—for the United States and the world—at a time when global supply chains are already under exceptional strain,” Jim Burkhard, the firm’s vice president and head of crude oil markets, said.
Burkhard suggested a ban would also send an “unnerving signal to allies” about the reliability of the U.S.
“In short, reimposing a crude oil export ban could have disastrous effects,” Center for Strategic and International Studies Energy Security and Climate Change Program Senior Fellow Ben Cahill wrote last month.
Cahill added that a ban would likely lead to producers passing costs on to consumers “in the form of higher gasoline prices.”
The White House did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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Thomas Catenacci is a reporter at Daily Caller News Foundation.
Photo “Congressman Roger Williams” by Texas House.