Lifting the oil export ban will create hundreds of thousands of new jobs and billions of dollars according a Friday article by Heritage Foundation economist Nicolas Loris.
“Lifting the ban would generate more jobs for Americans, supply the United States and the world with more affordable energy and provide important geopolitical benefits for Washington and its allies. Unfortunately, some politicians want to hold this common-sense measure hostage until they get funding for their pet projects.” Loris says, and concludes that “[t]he decision to export crude oil should be decided by those who produce and sell the oil, not by Washington bureaucrats.”
Presently, selling American crude oil to other countries is illegal, despite the best efforts of House Republicans who voted to lift the ban in October. The Senate is preparing to act to lift the ban, but President Barack Obama has threatened to veto any attempt to do so.
Exporting oil will boost U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) by $38 billion, reduce the trade deficit by $22 billion and add 300,000 new jobs by 2020, according to studies cited by Loris.
However, the benefits Loris cites aren’t only economic, he goes on to say “[r]emoving restrictions on U.S. crude oil exports would produce important geopolitical advantages for America and its allies. It will, for example, reduce the ability of Russia or other “challenger” nations to manipulate energy supplies for political and economic influence.” U.S. oil exports could reduce the influence of unstable petrostates like Russia, Iran and Saudi Arabia.
The Government Accountability Office estimates lifting the export ban will lower gas prices by up to 13 cents per gallon. American households are expected to save $700 at the pump this year due to low gas prices, according to analysis by the Energy Information Administration.
Low prices at the pump are enormously beneficial to American households who can now use money not spent on gasoline to save more, pay down debt or buy other goods. Cheap gas also helps poor families who are more vulnerable to high energy prices.