As U.S. oil production climbs to record levels, the United States should eventually consider easing its restrictions on crude exports, says API’s Jack Gerard. (Reuters)
The Reuters article continues, “While crude oil products such as gasoline and diesel can be exported from the United States, the Mineral Leasing Act of 1920 and the Outer Continental Shelf Leasing Act requires a presidential waiver for the sale of most unrefined crude oil abroad, essentially banning exports.”
As U.S. energy policy stands right now—U.S. Crude Oil Stays in the United States. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), in 2011, 99.7 percent of the crude oil produced in (or imported into) the United States was also consumed here, which means less than one-half of one percent (0.3 percent) was exported.
So why look to export crude oil? Rising U.S. crude output may open the door to exports. As production rises there is a strong possibility that some of the crude would need to be exported to obtain its true value—bolstering local production economies and production businesses as a result. This could mean increased revenue and increased employment opportunities, aka more energy jobs.
Says Gerard, "A lot of the early concern about exports is a knee-jerk reaction," Gerard said. "If you leave that market alone, it will find its equilibrium."