Time to Lift the Oil Export Ban

August 18, 2015

Today, there is only one major product the U.S. bans from export. Surprisingly, it is a product in which the U.S. is nearly self-sufficient.

Forty years ago, it may have made sense to ban the export of oil, but the U.S. is now producing an excess of certain grades of oil. That oil would find eager buyers overseas, spurring growth in our economy.

According to one estimate, lifting the export ban would result in exportation of an additional 500,000 barrels per day by 2017. That is only 5% of current production, the same amount of oil that is now exported to Canada (under an exemption to the export ban). The real issue is the benefit that exporting would provide to the U.S. economy, and there can be no doubt that the benefit would be substantial.

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