Bob Goodlatte: Time to lift the ban

goodlattefourinForty years ago, President Gerald Ford signed into law a ban on most U.S. oil exports. While many may have forgotten or never even knew it existed, this ban is still in place today, acting as a barrier to expanded American energy trade and production. After four decades, it’s time to repeal this outdated ban.

The United States is home to a wealth of natural resources, including oil. In fact, the U.S. recently surpassed Russia to become the world leader in the production of oil and natural gas. Yet, as it stands, much of that crude oil is unable to be exported into the global market.

There are significant economic benefits associated with lifting the outdated ban. Just last year, a U.S. Government Accountability Office report found that lifting the oil export ban could reduce consumer fuel prices and lead to increases in employment. The report also states that “growth in the oil sector would—in turn—have additional positive effects in the rest of the economy, including for employment and government revenues.” Another study estimated that ending the ban could support nearly one million additional jobs.

While our economy has seen some improvement in the past few years, we must continue to do all that we can to promote an opportunity economy ripe with job growth for all Americans. There are still many Americans looking for work, our national debt is still climbing above $18 trillion, and the responsibility to foster an environment for a healthy economy is still ours.

The United States should update our energy policy to encourage new economic growth and job creation here at home. That’s why I have signed on as a cosponsor of H.R. 2369, theEnergy Supply and Distribution Act. This bipartisan legislation would remove the ban on crude-oil exports.

With energy projects like the Keystone XL pipeline sitting idle, we have seen how the Obama Administration has blocked the U.S. from moving forward with common sense energy solutions that could benefit the American economy. Ending this export ban would help us better compete in the global economy and strengthen relationships with our allies. It is important that we get the federal government out of the way and let America prosper.

Bob Goodlatte represents the Sixth District of Virginia in Congress.



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