Legalize Crude Oil Exports

An energy renaissance is underway in the United States. According to a new report by the International Energy Agency (IEA), America’s decades-long dependence on foreign oil may soon be over. By the mid-2020s, the United States is set to surpass Saudi Arabia as the world’s largest oil producer.

Even more promising is that by 2030, the U.S. is set to become a net oil exporter—but not if U.S. policymakers have anything to say about it.

In 1975, the U.S. government banned crude oil exports with only some limited exceptions. At the time, U.S. energy markets were in dire straits—the combination of government price controls and the Arab oil embargo crippled oil and gas supplies to U.S. consumers. Despite some of the bad policies, domestic producers responded by dramatically increasing production.

Sadly, policies that prohibit or unnecessarily slow production on federal lands and waters as well as bans on crude oil exports limit producers’ ability to respond to higher prices.

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