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White House threatens to veto bill lifting crude export ban

An oil pump works at sunset Thursday, July 16, 2015, in the desert oil fields of Sakhir, Bahrain. Many analysts estimate that Iran has piled up tens of millions of barrels on floating barges that can be exported soon after sanctions have been lifted. So it's possible that once economic sanctions are lifted and Iran can sell more oil, crude oil prices could come down. (AP Photo/Hasan Jamali)

An oil pump works at sunset Thursday, July 16, 2015, in the desert oil fields of Sakhir, Bahrain. Many analysts estimate that Iran has piled up tens of millions of barrels on floating barges that can be exported soon after sanctions have been lifted. So it's possible that once economic sanctions are lifted and Iran can sell more oil, crude oil prices could come down. (AP Photo/Hasan Jamali)

WASHINGTON _ The White House on Wednesday threatened to veto legislation lifting the decades-old ban on U.S. crude oil exports. The House is expected to pass the bill on Friday. It has been a top priority of Republican leaders and of oil-state lawmakers.

Here is the statement from the White House Office of Management and Budget:

The Administration strongly opposes H.R. 702, which would remove restrictions on the export of crude oil.

Domestic oil production has grown in recent years, strengthening our economy, supporting new American jobs, and enhancing our energy security. The Administration has taken important steps to support safe and responsible production growth, including actions to cut methane leaks from oil and gas operations, to protect water quality, and to improve offshore safety in order to protect human lives and the environment from oil spills.

Legislation to remove crude export restrictions is not needed at this time. Rather, Congress should be focusing its efforts on supporting our transition to a low-carbon economy. It could do this through a variety of measures, including ending the billions of dollars a year in Federal subsidies provided to oil companies and instead investing in wind, solar, energy efficiency, and other clean technologies to meet America's energy needs.

If the President were presented with H.R. 702, his senior advisors would recommend that he veto the bill.

The American Petroleum Institute responded quickly:

“This is a missed opportunity to demonstrate true leadership while creating U.S. jobs and saving consumers’ money," API Executive Vice President Louis Finkel said.

"This administration needs to reexamine their priorities and work with a bipartisan coalition in Congress on legislation that would help to secure America’s energy leadership for generations to come.

“There’s no question that outdated laws are standing in the way of U.S. growth. The Commerce Department has failed to approve significant exports, and self-imposed sanctions remain in place. Lawmakers are simply updating the law to reflect that 1970s-era restrictions don’t make economic sense in an era of U.S. energy abundance. Both the House and Senate proposals preserve the administration’s authority to limit exports should it ever be necessary.”

Chris Casteel

Chris Casteel began working for The Oklahoman's Norman bureau in 1982 while a student at the University of Oklahoma. Casteel covered the police beat, federal courts and the state Legislature in Oklahoma City. From 1990 through 2016, he was the... Read more ›

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