The News Virginian | Sunday, September 6, 2015 | by Representative Bob Goodlatte (R-VA)
Forty years ago, President Gerald Ford signed into law a ban on most U.S. oil exports. While many may have forgotten or never even knew it existed, this ban is still in place today, acting as a barrier to expanded American energy trade and production. After four decades, it’s time to repeal this outdated ban.
The United States is home to a wealth of natural resources, including oil. Technological advances in recent years have further enhanced our ability to produce oil domestically. In fact, the United States recently surpassed Russia to become the world leader in the production of oil and natural gas. Yet, as it stands, much of that crude oil is unable to be exported into the global market.
There are significant economic benefits associated with lifting the outdated ban. Just last year, a U.S. Government Accountability Office report found that lifting the oil export ban could reduce consumer fuel prices and lead to increases in employment. The report also states that “growth in the oil sector would—in turn—have additional positive effects in the rest of the economy, including for employment and government revenues.” Another study estimated that ending the ban could support nearly one million additional jobs.
Robert William "Bob" Goodlatte is a member of the United States House of Representatives for Virginia's 6th congressional district, serving since 1993.