According to a Monday opinion piece by The New York Times editorial board, lifting the oil export ban will help energy companies so Congress should provide even more support to green energy.
“If Congress decides to change a 40-year-old law that restricts the export of crude oil, as is likely this week, that move must be accompanied by measures like tax credits for renewable energy to help in the fight against climate change,” writes The New York Times editorial board in the first line of the opinion piece.
Under current law, American crude oil cannot be sold in other countries unless the president determines that doing so is in the “national interest.” House Republicans voted to lift the ban in October and the Senate is currently preparing to lift the ban. President Barack Obama, however, has threatened to veto any attempt to do so, but the president appears set to make a deal. The oil export ban is expected to be lifted before the end of the year as part of a broader omnibus bill that Congress and the president plan to pass.
Environmental and left-wing groups are so opposed to lifting the ban they are teaming up with oil refineries top oppose it. This hasn’t stopped left-wing groups from demanding additional spending on green energy in exchange for lifting the ban.
Congress is expected to extend wind and solar tax credits in exchange for lifting this export ban. Republican Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn says, however, Democrats “want the sun and the moon” in return.
Allowing exports will boost the profits of oil companies, but will also boost the U.S. economy by $38 billion annually, reduce the trade deficit by $22 billion, and add 300,000 new jobs by 2020. The Government Accountability Office estimates lifting the export ban will lower gas prices by up to 13 cents per gallon. American households are expected to save $700 at the pump this year due to low gas prices, according to analysis by the Energy Information Administration.
Low prices at the pump are enormously beneficial to American households that can now use money not spent on gasoline to save more, pay down debt or buy other goods. Cheap gas also helps poor families who are more vulnerable to high energy prices.
U.S. oil exports could also reduce the influence of unstable petrostates like Russia, Iran, and Saudi Arabia.
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