There has been much debate lately about whether the U.S. should lift its 40+ year ban on the export of crude oil. With the exception of exporting crude oil to Canada from refineries in Alaska and California, the U.S. has largely restricted the export of the precious commodity. There is no ban on gasoline, diesel gas, and petroleum, which may be exported, for the most part, without any restrictions.
The U.S. crude oil embargo began in the 1970s during the Middle Eastern Oil Crisis, when an oil embargo issued by Arab nations increased the average price of a barrel of crude oil dramatically. To conserve its own crude oil, the U.S. responded by issuing an embargo of its own. Proponents of lifting the ban argue that it would effectively lower domestic oil prices and also believe that exporting opportunities exist for the U.S. in Northwest Europe and Asia.
Others argue that the issue is not even worth debate, as many other issues currently take priority for the ban to get sufficient legislative attention. It will be interesting, at the very least, to follow any traction with regards to the ban being lifted in future years.
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