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House Passes Bill to Lift Crude Oil Export Ban

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Earlier this week, the House passed HR 702, a bill aimed at adapting to changing crude oil market conditions. The bill passed the House by a vote of (261-159); it will lift the 40-year-old ban on exporting domestic crude oil. When the oil export ban was enacted in 1975 there was an eminent threat of an embargo from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries or OPEC. However, according to House Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI), the threat of an embargo no longer exits and the U.S. economy would greatly benefit from lifting the decades old ban. There is opposition from several Democrats and the White House due to fear of an increase in fuel prices and job losses at U.S. refineries if the ban is lifted. The White House has issued a veto threat of the bill, stating the legislation "is not needed at this time" and will oppose any measure to lift the current export ban.

A similar bill to lift the export ban was passed on October 1 in the Senate Banking Committee by a vote of (13-9). Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) was the lone Democrat supporting passage of the bill. The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee also passed a bill out of committee to lift the export ban in September by a vote of (12-10). Floor time for both measures has yet to be determined in the Senate partially due to the White House’s veto threat and the time needed to reach at least 60 votes needed for final passage. NRMCA supports lifting the export ban and recently signed onto a letter with the Energy Equipment and Infrastructure Alliance (EEIA) in support of the House bill, HR 702.

Click here to view the EEIA letter of support. For more information, contact NRMCA’s Jill Landry at

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