US Sen. Murkowski Plans Bill to Kill Oil Export Ban
U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski said on Thursday she will unveil a bill next week to reverse the U.S. oil export ban in an effort to build support for killing the 1970s-era restriction that drillers say threatens to choke the domestic energy boom. Murkowski, the Republican chairwoman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, said she will unveil the bill on Tuesday, although it was uncertain when the measure would get a vote in her committee. "I am going to be looking for every opportunity we might have to advance it," Murkowski said in a press conference.
Lifting of US Crude Oil Export Ban Possible within Year
The U.S. Congress could lift the 40-year old ban on domestic crude oil exports within a year as a drop in gasoline prices and the potential return of Iranian oil to global markets makes it an easier measure for politicians to support, Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts said on Thursday. U.S. gasoline prices have dropped since last year along with global crude prices, thanks to strong crude output from the United States, Saudi Arabia and Iraq. On Thursday, the U.S. average for regular gasoline at the pump was nearly $2.74 a gallon, down from $3.65 a year ago, according to the AAA motorist club. If that remains the case, it has the potential to allay politicians' fears that they could be blamed any rise in gasoline prices if the crude oil export ban was lifted.
Deepwater Horizon Lingers
It has been more than 16 months since the Deepwater Horizon incident on April 20, 2010 which resulted in the deaths of 11 and injuries to 17 men working on the platform and the discharge of approximately five million barrels of oil. The well was finally capped on July 15, 2010 yet the Joint Coast Guard and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) Investigation final report (Joint Investigation) has not been completed and released to the public. In addition, Congress continues to wait until the final results are released to make its own assessment of what legislation should ultimately be enacted and the complex litigation will be with us for years.
US Refiners' Group Wants Wide Debate on Oil Exports
The U.S. oil refining industry's association is not opposed to lifting the country's 40-year-old ban on crude exports as long as the move is part of a bigger effort to lower barriers to trade, the group's new head said on Tuesday. "We're not opposed to lifting the export ban, but we would like to think there could be a broader discussion," about all trade barriers in petroleum markets, Chet Thompson, president of the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM), told reporters. Other trade barriers include the Jones Act, which requires ships servicing coastal businesses to be built in the United States and mostly staffed by U.S.
US Senator Introduces Bill to Stop Arctic Drilling
A piece of legislation aiming to stop offshore Arctic drilling was introduced last week by Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley. The legislation, entitled Stop Arctic Ocean Drilling Act of 2015, would prevent new or renewed leases for the exploration, development or production of oil, natural gas or any other mineral in the Arctic planning area. "A spill in the Arctic would be an environmental catastrophe of extraordinary proportions – and such a spill is inevitable if drilling proceeds," Merkley said.
Trump Troubled About Oil Flow into North Korea
U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday said he was "very disappointed that China is allowing oil to go into North Korea" and that such moves would prevent "a friendly solution" to the crisis over Pyongyang's nuclear program. "Caught RED HANDED - very disappointed that China is allowing oil to go into North Korea. There will never be a friendly solution to the North Korea problem if this continues to happen!" Trump wrote in a post on Twitter. China earlier on Thursday said there had been no U.N.