Republicans are eyeing upcoming legislation to force a measureon President Obama that would liftÂ the U.S. export banon crude oil.
â€œWe have antiquated policies that were put inplace in the 1970s that prohibit us from exporting our crude oil,yet we have allies around the globe asking the United States toprovide them with a stable supply of energy,â€ saidRepublican Sen. Cory Gardner at an energy forum hosted by TheAmerican Council for Capital Formation (ACCF).â€œWe should change this policy in order for theU.S. to be a global leader and to support our allies by making themless dependent on energy from hostile nations.â€
America remains the only major oil producing nation that stillbans crude exports, and industry experts are widely critical of itscurrent necessity. OPEC nations have used their position todevastate the industry with low prices, as they compete with Russiaand fellow members for market share. WithAmericaâ€™s oil industry struggling in the wakeof low global crude prices, support to repeal the restrictivepolicy has been growing.
â€œThe ban on crude oil exports is totallycontrary to consistent US advocacy of open markets, ever since theSecond World War,â€ Gary Hufbauer, senior fellow at thePeterson Institute for International Economics, told The DailyCaller News Foundation. â€œThe ban retards USdevelopment of oil production. The ban could not withstand a legalchallenge in the WTO.â€
The House of Representatives passed a bill lifting the crude oil export ban in earlyOctober, however the promise of a presidential veto all butguarantees the measure wonâ€™t be signed into lawas a standalone bill.
Instead Republicans will attempt to attach its fate to keylegislation that must be passed before the end of the year.Currently the most likely candidate is the transportation bill reauthorizing federal funds for highway andtransit programs, reported The Bismarck Tribune.
â€œIt is must-pass legislation, which means itwill be hard for the president to veto, and the benefits ofallowing crude oil exports are multiple,â€ RepublicanSen. John Hoeven said in a statement, whose home state of NorthDakota has been suffering since the oil price slump.
If the Republican push to attach the ban to the transportationbill fails, Sen. Cory Gardner says they will try to put in in theomnibus package expected to pass before years end. Supporters ofthe plan fear that lifting the ban in 2016 will be impossible dueto the polarizing nature of an election year, but opportunities maystill exist.
â€œIf the ban isnâ€™t liftedin 2015, it might be lifted in 2016Â as part of theimplementing legislation forTPP,â€Â Hufbauer told The DCNF.