For the first time in 40 years, U.S.-produced crude oil has made it to Europe, meaning the continent won’t have to rely as much on on Russia for its energy needs.
American crude oil from Texas arrived in Switzerland late last week, less than a month after Congress reversed the 40-year ban on oil exports. Two weeks ago, an oil tanker carrying a shipment of Texas crude oil from left Corpus Christi for Italy according to a Tuesday report by Fuel Fix.
Crude oil exports were first banned by the 1975 Energy Policy and Conservation Act to reduce the impact of potential oil embargoes by the Organization of Oil Exporting Countries (OPEC). The ban was heavily supported by oil refineries, who could sell refined oil at high prices, and environmentalists, who argued that the ban limited oil production.
America surpassed Russia early last year as the world’s largest and fastest-growing producer of oil and natural gas.
U.S. oil exports could also reduce the influence of unstable petrostates like Russia, Iran and Saudi Arabia.
“Removing restrictions on U.S. crude oil exports would produce important geopolitical advantages for America and its allies,” Nicolas Loris, a Heritage Foundation economist, wrote in The National Interest. “It will, for example, reduce the ability of Russia or other ‘challenger’ nations to manipulate energy supplies for political and economic influence.”
Exporting oil is expected to boost U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) by $38 billion, reduce the trade deficit by $22 billion and add 300,000 new jobs by 2020, according to another study by ICF International and the American Petroleum Institute. A study by the Aspen Institute estimates that exporting oil could allow America to lock in these production gains while creating up to 1.48 million jobs.
The Government Accountability Office estimates that lifting the export ban will lower gas prices by up to 13 cents per gallon due to increased production. Exporting crude oil could increase domestic production by as much as 1.2 million barrels daily through 2025, according to a study by Columbia University.
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