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Energy Edge

Washington, Are You Ready to Export Oil?: Energy Edge - Brought to You by Chevron

December 17, 2013

Washington, Are You Ready to Export Oil?

The short answer: no.

"I don't know if the politics are necessarily right to lift it," Senate Energy and Natural Resources ranking member Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, said Tuesday, referring to the decades-old ban on exporting crude oil.


The long answer: All talk but no action.

"I do know they're ripe for a very thorough discussion about what's going to go on," Murkowski said. "It's exciting!"

Try nerve-wracking.

Politicians are nervous about higher gasoline prices. Refineries are nervous about oil producers exporting a product they have been exporting themselves. Environmentalists are nervous that exports will only encourage more drilling.

Get a grip on your nerves and call your lawyer because the real fight will take place not on Capitol Hill, but within the arcane world of trade law, one that crisscrosses the Obama administration and the World Trade Organization.

Let's call this debate exciting and nerve-racking!

Amy Harder


By Clare Foran (@ckmarie) and Ben Geman (@Ben_Geman)

SHAHEEN FIGHTS TO RECHARGE ENERGY-EFFICIENCY BILL. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., is hoping to make a push for the stalled legislation with Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, on the Senate floor this week. 

ARE TAXPAYERS GETTING THEIR FAIR SHARE OF OIL ROYALTIES? The Interior Department should beef up efforts to ensure taxpayers get a fair return on billions of dollars worth of oil and natural gas that energy companies produce from federal lands and waters, congressional auditors said.

FEDS PRESS CALIFORNIA OFFICIALS ON REFINERY SAFETY. An independent federal agency is urging California officials to beef up refinery safety in the wake of a major 2012 fire at a Chevron refinery there.

STUDY: CLIMATE CHANGE COULD DRAIN ACCESS TO WATER. A new report finds that climate change could jeopardize access to water for millions of people in places where scarcity is already a problem, according to U.S. News & World Report.

CANADIAN ENVOY: RAILWAYS AREN'T THE ANSWER, KEYSTONE XL IS. Canada's ambassador to the United States says the growing use of rail cars to transport Canadian crude oil underscores the need for White House approval of the Keystone XL pipeline.

RYAN: TIE KEYSTONE XL TO DEBT LIMIT. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., suggested that one way to win approval for the project would be to bring it up in upcoming debt ceiling negotiations.

MENENDEZ CONDEMNS MONIZ'S OIL COMMENTS. Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., says lifting the ban on crude-oil exports would benefit major oil companies and hurt American consumers.

KEYSTONE CONTRACTOR COMES UNDER FIRE. The firm that worked on the environmental review for the Keystone XL pipeline belongs to a number of trade associations and coalitions that support the project.

COMMITTEE GIVES NOD TO ENERGY, INTERIOR NOMINEES. The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee favorably reported the nominations of Steven Croley, Christopher Smith, and Esther Kia'aina to the full Senate.

WAXMAN CALLS FOR METHANE INQUIRY. House Energy and Commerce ranking member Henry Waxman, D-Calif., is calling for a hearing on methane emissions from oil and gas drilling.

TRANSCANADA ANNOUNCES START DATE FOR KEYSTONE SHIPMENTS. The company will begin shipping oil through the southern leg of the pipeline in January.

REPUBLICANS WARN SUPREME COURT THAT EPA PROGRAM 'THREATENS LIBERTY.' Kentucky's GOP Senate duo and other Republicans are urging the Supreme Court to scuttle EPA's first greenhouse-gas permitting program for big pollution sources like power plants, refineries, and factories.


GRID RESILIENCE EVENT. The Atlantic Council holds a discussion on risks and resilience of the electrical sector.

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