U.S. policymakers are divided over what to do with the glut of domestic oil. Both sides of the debate craft their rhetoric around economic issues, though a report from a Washington think tank with close ties to the Obama administration said that misses the broader point.
"The United States should accept the reality of energy interdependence, take steps to decrease domestic consumption and diversify supplies, facilitate broader energy exports, and more deeply and creatively integrate energy security into strategic policy and military planning," a report from the Center for a New American Security said.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration said crude oil production for the week ending Jan. 31 was 8.04 million barrels per day, a 15 percent increase from the same time last year. That's lead many political leaders to say now is the time to reverse the ban on crude oil exports enacted in the wake of the Arab oil embargo in the 1970s.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, ranking member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, said reversing the ban is "critical" for American consumers.
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"The International Energy Agency has warned that maintaining the ban may actually result in shut-in production, which would be to the detriment of the nation’s livelihood," Murkowski said. "Lifting the ban is about increasing domestic production and creating jobs."
The 35-page report from CNAS, written by senior fellow Elizabeth Rosenberg, said the economic connection that would come from exports could manifest itself as "coercive political influence" on the international stage. According to the Office of the Historian at the U.S. State Department, the oil embargo from Arab members of OPEC had global implications that lasted well beyond the 1970s. With crude oil exports, that same leverage would be in the hands of Washington.
Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., chairman of the Senate energy committee, said he hasn't taken a position on crude oil exports, but wanted to make sure U.S. consumers won't wind up feeling more pain at the pump "because of some theory that everything is just going to turn out hunky dory in the end."
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Rosenberg's report said oil prices in particular have been held down because of the increase in production from U.S. shale deposits. The Commerce Department said last year's average price of $97.01 for a barrel of crude oil imported into the United States was less than 2012's average. Nevertheless, oil is traded in a global market that's "deeply interconnected," meaning U.S. consumer energy products like gasoline won't be shielded entirely from international issues, the CNAS report said.
The Commerce Department said the United States imported 2.81 billion barrels of oil last year, down 9.2 percent from 2012. But that's not necessarily an indication of economic protection. CNAS said much of the debate over what to do now ignores the geopolitical aspects of energy however, suggesting the crude oil export debate is more than a dollars-and-cents issue in and of itself.
By. Daniel J. Graeber of Oilprice.com
You might want to look into it. It could really help your analyses.
eia says were still importing 8.8 million BPD of crude oil.
I'm a corrosion engineer at an oil refinery.
Why not examine the cost of reestablishing or expanding some of our own sweet crude refining capacity? Keep the refining jobs here, and eliminate the need to deal with the waste products of the sulfur crude refining process.
First, there is no guarantee that we would be able to import the same amount of crude that we export, so that we are not in effect destroying our future ability to maintain a high level of energy self-sufficiency.
Second, it is much cheaper to pipe fracked crude from US wells to US refineries. The cost of shipping large volumes of crude is added to the cost we all pay at the fueling station.
Third, the ability to export crude would not only mean the export of US, but also makes it easier to export Canadian tar sands crude. Developing tar sands by destroying Boreal forest is a scenario best left for the "End Times."
Fourth, the sooner we speed up the exhaustion of our own oil supplies via the oil corporations' scheme of exporting US oil, the sooner we will be so dependent on imported oil from potentially hostile nations, and the sooner will come the time that people in the US will look back at the 1973 Oil Embargo as a time of relative plenty. It will be a long, long time, if ever, that alternative fuel technology will be able to supply more than a small fraction of the oil we are currently wasting.
1. I ask if and how this would impact are strategic defense relations with allies where we base our defenses. It will be a while before drones and satellites will protect us. ISES is proving that.
2. While our exports fatten up our GDP will our interest rates climb, cost of living climb, crack other country's GDP thus forcing them to get back to manufacturing and exporting "Made in their country" products to the USA because we can't afford our own. That's nothing new.
US citizens should understand the real broad picture of the long term impact on our economy. I definitely feel we have a right to be independent. Just educate the public where to direct the future workers. Make sure they understand what opportunities will be there for the next generation. Don't just make a ton of money and end up greedy. Our next generation will lose out. We need to feed the moral fiber.