The Wall Street Journal, Tuesday, August 11, 2015
by former Undersecretary of the Department of Energy John Deutch
With U.S. oil production on a long-term uptick, the long-standing ban on direct exports of crude should be abolished. Bills in both houses of Congress propose to do just that, and on July 30 the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee sent one of them, Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s Energy Policy Modernization Act, to the Senate floor for a vote.
Let’s hope the export ban is lifted with broad bipartisan support. The result will increase U.S. jobs and increase the country’s influence in world oil markets, with little risk of higher gasoline prices for consumers.
The U.S. oil and gas industry has changed dramatically in the past several years, and with it this country’s dependence on foreign imports. Consider: The Energy Information Administration’s Annual Energy Outlook projects a decline in U.S. oil and natural gas liquids imports from a high of roughly 60% in 2011 to under 20% in 2040. Yet last year’s energy outlook projected net imports of more than 30% in 2040. That’s a significant change in only a single year.
Mr. Deutch, a professor of chemistry at MIT, was undersecretary of the Energy Department in the Carter administration. He is a member of the National Petroleum Council.