The Iran Irony
August 5, 2015
Breaking Energy (EnergyTomorrow.org)
The current crude oil export debate basically is about global competition – and whether the United States will stop sanctioning itself and let an American commodity trade freely on the global market.
An irony – we’ll call it the “Iran Irony” – underscores the anti-competitive nature of our outdated ban on oil exports and the strategic shortsightedness of maintaining it.
The “Iran Irony” is this: While the U.S. advances a nuclear deal that would let Iran reemerge as a major oil supplier on the global market – to Iran’s economic and competitive gain – the United States denies itself similar benefits by banning its own crude exports. This is hurting America’s global competitiveness, diminishing the potential positive impacts of America’s rise as an energy superpower.
API President and CEO Jack Gerard encouraged ongoing congressional efforts to lift the U.S. export ban during a conference call with reporters. Gerard said the irony created by the Iran negotiations is helping crystallize bipartisan support in Congress to lift the ban:
“I think the current Iranian discussion is part of that (growing bipartisanship), that really shows as a lot of people reflect on this very important decision they’re going to make about this agreement reached regarding Iran – the irony that we would consider allowing them to have access to the global marketplace with their production, reaping billions of dollars, at the same time we deny our own companies and our own economy the same opportunity.”
Gerard tied U.S. oil exports to the positive effects of greater supply on the global market – specifically, American supply:
“Our ability to strengthen the global energy market against future disruptions will shape events around the globe, adding a key tool to America’s diplomatic arsenal. At this moment, U.S. diplomats are paving the way for Iran to reassert itself as a major world energy supplier. American voters understand that lifting the ban on Iranian oil resources, while maintaining a ban on U.S. companies, is illogical and restricts our own competitiveness. It doesn’t make sense. U.S. energy producers should not be placed at a competitive disadvantage to anyone, whether it is Russia, Iran or any oil producing country. This outdated crude exports policy must be repealed to level the playing field and allow the U.S. to flourish as a global energy superpower.”
Allowing exports of U.S. crude is connected to harnessing the U.S. energy revolution. It’s key to an overall, pro-development approach that would grow our economy, create jobs, generate greater U.S. energy security and help our allies abroad. Lifting the ban would recognize America’s opportunity to use its energy wealth for good here at home and overseas.
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