Today the House passed H.R. 702, a bill that lifts the current crude oil export ban that has been in place since the 1970s. I voted to lift the ban because I believe it is an outdated policy that has negative consequences for the economy and our national security.
While I would prefer that this legislation be included as part of a larger comprehensive energy package, I did not have the luxury of voting for an ideal bill. I am hopeful that the Senate is able to add renewable energy provisions that will make the final bill a much better piece of legislation.
As the world moves to a less carbon-intensive economy, it’s important to remember that most of us still drive gasoline-powered cars. The oil that supplies the current dominant mode of transportation will have to come from somewhere. With some of the strictest environmental laws and safeguards that help guarantee minimal impact to surrounding habitats, ours is cleaner oil than that extracted in many other oil exporting countries.
Lifting this ban also means that America can compete with other oil producing nations for crude oil sales, and in doing so boost our economy, jobs and current trade imbalances. I believe this is good for consumers, business, and our economy as a whole.
Most importantly, lifting the crude oil ban is good for our national security. It will help America and our allies become less dependent on energy from other volatile areas in the world.
H.R. 702 passed by a 261–159 vote and is now pending in the Senate.