Ben Carson Wants To Export Oil And Natural Gas

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Andrew Follett Energy and Science Reporter
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Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson finally weighed in on energy issues during Tuesday’s debate saying “we have an abundance of energy, but we have archaic energy exportation rules.”

Carson continued, “We need to get rid of those [outdated energy exportation rules], allow ourselves to really make Europe dependent on us and other parts of the world dependent on us for energy.”

Carson’s assessment comes just as House Republicans announced a tax and spending deal which includes energy exports Wednesday. The Obama administration has historically been slow to process permits for oil and natural gas exports, making some projects wait up to four years for a permit.

“Lifting the ban would generate more jobs for Americans, supply the United States and the world with more affordable energy and provide important geopolitical benefits for Washington and its allies. Unfortunately, some politicians want to hold this common-sense measure hostage until they get funding for their pet projects,” said Heritage Foundation economist Nicolas Loris. “The decision to export crude oil should be decided by those who produce and sell the oil, not by Washington bureaucrats.”

Exporting oil alone will boost the U.S. economy by $38 billion, reduce the trade deficit by $22 billion and add 300,000 new jobs by 2020, according to studies cited by Loris.

Exporting energy is likely to be a growth industry, as global demand for energy is expected to be 50 percent higher by 2035 than it is now, according to the International Energy Agency.

In Japan, natural gas prices are nearly three times higher than in America. Japan’s appetite for oil and natural gas is only going to increase, especially since the country scaled back its nuclear power plant fleet after the Fukushima Daiichi disaster.

Carson also cited the diplomatic benefits of energy exports, saying, “I think we can use that in order to keep Putin contained, because he is a one-horse show.”

In Europe, American gas exports are the only major alternative to Russian gas. European officials fear Russia’s grip on energy markets could be used to achieve political goals. Indeed, Europe was initially hesitant to rebuke Russia’s annexation of the Crimean Peninsula because of its control over natural gas pipelines.

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