Over the past few months, talks on whether the U.S. should lift its ban on exporting crude oil have dominated the headlines in the exporting industry. There has been a great deal of lobbying for the U.S. Government to lift the 40+ year ban, but, as with any issue, there are also many on the opposite side of the issue.
Proponents of lifting the ban stress the economic benefits that the U.S. could enjoy if it took action. As several oil refineries in the U.S. approach their capacities, proponents of the ban feel that the U.S. is missing the boat. One of the biggest proponents of lifting the ban is Blake Clayton of the Council on Foreign Relations. Clayton provides several reasons why the U.S. should lift the ban in his piece, “The Case for Allowing U.S. Crude Oil Exports”. According to Clayton, “Crude oil exports could generate upward of $15 billion a year in revenue by 2017 at today’s prices, according to industry estimates…”.
Opponents of lifting the ban are not convinced that doing so would automatically benefit the United States economy. Opponents also argue that there are so many more foreign policy issues that currently take precedence, and thus, the topic is not worth discussing right now. Many experts involved in the debate argue that the Obama Administration is unlikely to take action anytime soon. With 2016 being an election year, it will be interesting to see how many, if any, presidential candidates incorporate lifting the ban into their campaign strategy.