The campaign to end a 39-year ban on the export of most domestically produced crude oil has gathered momentum over the past week. First came a report from the Government Accountability Office, indicating that removing the ban would boost domestic production by encouraging further investment. A few days later, fourteen independent oil producers joined to register the first lobbying group specifically aimed at lifting the embargo.
“They’re probably tilting at windmills, but it’s going to be a good try,” says Barbara Shook, senior reporter-at-large for Energy Intelligence Group. “They’ll have better luck after the November elections if the Republicans take control of both houses of the Congress. The Obama Administration is definitely against repealing the ban on exports.”
The Commerce Department issued a ruling in June that allowed limited exports of ultra-light crude oil, known as condensates. That led U.S. crude exports to spike in July to 401,000 barrels per day, the highest level in 57 years.