Joe Barton: Lift Oil Export Ban

Posted by Joseph Keefe
Tuesday, September 02, 2014

A senior U.S. Congressman from Texas has come out in full support of the United States lifting the 40-year old ban on crude oil exports, putting him at odds with fellow House Republicans wary of weighing in on the controversial issue.

Rep. Joe Barton, who until now has maintained a relatively neutral public stance on a topic that has divided Republican members of the House energy and commerce committee, told Reuters in a statement that the time was right for the United States to overhaul its long-standing restrictions on exporting crude oil.

"The shale revolution has changed the energy landscape in our country. It is time to change our laws to match this new reality," said Barton, who represents Texas' sixth Congressional district just southwest of Dallas, several hundred miles from the burgeoning oil patches of the Eagle Ford and Permian.

"I'm in favor of overturning the ban on crude oil exports."

Barton chairs the energy task force of the Republican Study Committee, which will continue to debate the ban and issue position papers.

It is the most definitive statement that the former chairman of the House energy committee has made outside of private meetings on the subject, said Sean Brown, Barton's press secretary.

Barton is "happy to discuss the issue" with House colleagues and some in the business community who may disagree, Brown said.

The outspoken lawmaker, in office since 1985, joins other powerful politicians including Senate energy and natural resources committee chair Mary Landrieu of Louisiana and ranking member Lisa Murkowski from Alaska in backing definitive action on exports. They want to move beyond the incremental measures that are already allowing a growing trickle of shale oil to find new markets, such as South Korea and the Netherlands.

Although several research reports have found that exporting the glut of shale oil would ultimately lower U.S. and global fuel prices, rather than raise them, U.S. public opinion remains divided on the issue.

Meanwhile some environmentalists are beginning to rally against overseas sales because they fear it will encourage even more fracking.

ON THE FENCE


Barton's previous public comments on the issue were more careful.

"I can debate either side of that," he said at an event in February.

Barton said there was a strong economic argument to lift the export ban, but such a decision might roil environmentalists, provoking another political fight in a divided Congress.

Rep. Fred Upton, a Michigan Republican who succeeded Barton as the energy committee chair, has not yet taken a position on the ban.

"The committee is still studying the issue. We will continue to conduct analysis the remainder of the year and into next Congress," committee spokeswoman Charlotte Baker said.

With mid-term elections looming, some lawmakers want to avoid discussing crude exports altogether as it may raise fears among voters that a policy change would drive up gasoline prices.

Some lawmakers in Texas and on the east coast are at odds with others because oil refiners in their districts have benefited from the crude oil ban and oppose a policy change.

In March, four U.S. oil refiners including Alon USA Energy and PBF Energy formed anti-export group Consumers and Refiners United for Domestic Energy, or CRUDE, a lobby with the goal of preventing a hasty reversal of the ban.

Barton's statement is significant because some prominent Republicans have not taken a firm stance on the issue yet, said Kevin Book, an analyst with Clear View Energy Partners.

"The reason he probably hasn't been more vocal is because the rank and file is terrified," he said.

But Barton has little to lose by backing crude exports, according to Book, since his district is home mainly to oil producers.

Reporting By Valerie Volcovici

Maritime Reporter May 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Finance

US Funding for Air Emissions/Alternative Energy Projects

The U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD) announced that up to $1.3 million in Federal funding is now available through cooperative agreements for projects supporting

WCI Applauds Increased USACE Funding

Today WCI applauded the leadership of Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Thad Cochran (R-MS) and Senate Energy & Water Development (E&WD) Appropriations Subcommittee

Shipping Freight Rates Drop Amidst Overcapacity

Shipping freight rates on the world's busiest route, from Asia to Northern Europe, fell by the largest percentage amount since 2008, reflecting wild volatility

Energy

US Funding for Air Emissions/Alternative Energy Projects

The U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD) announced that up to $1.3 million in Federal funding is now available through cooperative agreements for projects supporting

US Oil Platform on Fire in Gulf Of Mexico

An oil platform caught fire and was evacuated in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico offshore Louisiana in the early hours of Friday, though no injuries were reported, the U.

SoCal Beach Cleanup Could Take Months

The U.S. Coast Guard captain overseeing cleanup of oil spilled from a pipeline rupture that closed two California state beaches and fouled offshore waters near

News

DMW Marine Takes the Lead in Military Cranes

DMW Marine Group, LLC. has completed a number of projects for the U.S. Navy and foreign Navies in recent years, claiming a place as a go-to supplier for Navy departments globally.

US Oil Platform on Fire in Gulf Of Mexico

An oil platform caught fire and was evacuated in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico offshore Louisiana in the early hours of Friday, though no injuries were reported, the U.

USCG Tall Ship Sailing to the Bahamas

The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Eagle is scheduled to arrive at Berth 14 at Prince George Wharf in Nassau, Bahamas on Thursday, May 28 as part of its 2015 cadet summer training deployment.

People in the News

SoCal Beach Cleanup Could Take Months

The U.S. Coast Guard captain overseeing cleanup of oil spilled from a pipeline rupture that closed two California state beaches and fouled offshore waters near

Shipping Freight Rates Drop Amidst Overcapacity

Shipping freight rates on the world's busiest route, from Asia to Northern Europe, fell by the largest percentage amount since 2008, reflecting wild volatility

WFP: Aid Cargo for Yemen will be Delivered After Ship Docks

The World Food Programme will deliver a cargo of Iranian aid for Yemen once the ship carrying it reaches Djibouti's port, the U.N agency said on Friday. Earlier

Government Update

US Funding for Air Emissions/Alternative Energy Projects

The U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD) announced that up to $1.3 million in Federal funding is now available through cooperative agreements for projects supporting

WCI Applauds Increased USACE Funding

Today WCI applauded the leadership of Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Thad Cochran (R-MS) and Senate Energy & Water Development (E&WD) Appropriations Subcommittee

SoCal Beach Cleanup Could Take Months

The U.S. Coast Guard captain overseeing cleanup of oil spilled from a pipeline rupture that closed two California state beaches and fouled offshore waters near

Logistics

SoCal Beach Cleanup Could Take Months

The U.S. Coast Guard captain overseeing cleanup of oil spilled from a pipeline rupture that closed two California state beaches and fouled offshore waters near

Myanmar Finds 200 Bangladeshis in Offshore Boat

Myanmar's navy found a boat carrying more than 200 Bangladeshis, the government said on Friday, after the military chief said some migrants landing in Malaysia

Shipping Freight Rates Drop Amidst Overcapacity

Shipping freight rates on the world's busiest route, from Asia to Northern Europe, fell by the largest percentage amount since 2008, reflecting wild volatility

Offshore Energy

US Oil Platform on Fire in Gulf Of Mexico

An oil platform caught fire and was evacuated in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico offshore Louisiana in the early hours of Friday, though no injuries were reported, the U.

Protea to Launch Heavy-Lift Cranes at Nor-Shipping

Protea, a global manufacturer of offshore handling equipment, will launch two types of heavy lift cranes at Nor-Shipping 2015 in Oslo, June 2-5. Tomasz Paszkiewicz,

Two Hurt in Petrobras Platform Accident; Output Halted

Brazil's state-led oil company Petrobras was forced to stop output at its P-56 offshore oil production ship on Wednesday in the Marlim Sul field after an explosion

 
 
Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Navigation Offshore Oil Port Authority Salvage Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1747 sec (6 req/sec)