INFORUM | Wednesday, September 16, 2015
Over the past decade, North Dakota has been leading America’s energy renaissance, helping position our nation as the global leader in oil and natural gas production. Even as the industry continues to prove its resilience during these challenging times, I’ve been working toward a simple policy change to help sustain this great American story: lifting the ban on exporting crude oil.
By making this needed change, we can keep our country safer, gain ground on our foreign competitors, create American jobs, and help lower or stabilize gas prices for hardworking families. And for more than a year, I’ve been working in the Senate with Republicans and Democrats, including Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, who chairs the Senate Energy Committee, to explain why exporting American oil is so needed. Now, we’re picking up momentum – and fast.
A relic of the Nixon administration, the national ban on crude oil was a failed price control policy then and is now nothing more than an unnecessary restriction on one single industry that exists nowhere else in our economy – preventing it from selling its commodity on the global market. As more and more nonpartisan experts continue to weigh in, the answer is clear: Doing away with the ban on exporting oil can improve our economy, lower gasoline prices and make America and our allies more energy secure. Since I brought U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz out to North Dakota last year for one of his agency’s agenda-setting meetings, I’ve been making the case to anyone who will listen to lift the oil exports ban.
Mary Kathryn "Heidi" Heitkamp is the junior United States Senator from North Dakota, in office since 2013, and a member of the North Dakota Democratic-Nonpartisan League Party.