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Murkowski OP-ED: Before Lifting Iran Oil Sanctions, Lift Export Ban
Jul20

Murkowski OP-ED: Before Lifting Iran Oil Sanctions, Lift Export Ban

ICYMI: Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, makes the case in Real Clear Energy that before oil sanctions are lifted on Iran, we must lift the current ban on U.S. crude oil exports. In the op-ed, Murkowski calls maintaining our export ban “indefensible” and reiterates her position that lifting Iran oil sanctions without ending the U.S. ban on crude oil exports is effectively keeping sanctions on ourselves.   Before Lifting Iran Oil Sanctions, Lift Export Ban (OP-ED in Real Clear Energy)   http://bit.ly/1MDledJ   By Sen. Lisa Murkowski   As Congress begins its 60-day review of President Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran, there are plenty of reasons to be skeptical about whether it is in our nation’s – and the world’s – best interests. Not least among them are the underexplored, but potentially significant consequences the deal will hold for American energy producers.   By agreeing to lift sanctions on Tehran’s oil exports, the Obama administration will allow Iranian oil to enter the world market while at the same time continuing to deny our producers that same access and right of competition.   The outdated laws and regulations preventing the United States from exporting crude oil are grossly outdated – and, in the wake of the Iran deal, amount to sanctions against ourselves. This has unfortunately been the case throughout the nuclear negotiations. Iran has been selling over one million barrels per day of oil to our trading partners, such as Japan, South Korea, India, and others.   Meanwhile, Americans are prohibited, with only minor exceptions, from exporting oil anywhere but Canada. Iran’s export terminal at Kharg Island can load oil tankers with various grades of crude and send that oil far and wide, but it is against the law to do the same thing in the port of Houston with American light sweet crude. What’s good for Froozan Blend is not, apparently, good for West Texas Intermediate.   This disconnect makes no sense and harms the economic and strategic interests of the United States. Because global oil prices are higher than domestic U.S. prices, countries such as Saudi Arabia and Russia can make more money selling their oil on the world market than American companies in Alaska, North Dakota, and Texas. We don’t see cheaper gasoline at the pump, though, because those prices are set by the global market.   If the current sanctions are ultimately lifted, Iran’s export resurgence will increase the world’s oil supply and decrease oil prices. The Energy Information Administration estimates that as many as one million additional barrels of oil from Iran could enter the market...

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