4:09 p.m. -- Massachusetts Democrat Ed Markey is speaking with Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker Wednesday afternoon about the nation's crude oil export ban and recent federal decisions that appear to have softened it, a Markey aide said. The discussion comes several weeks after Markey, who favors maintaining the decades-old ban, wrote to Pritzker seeking more information about Commerce Dept. decisions to allow two companies to export an ultralight form of crude oil called condensate that has been minimally processed. Markey and Sen. Robert Menendez argued in the letter that the Commerce action may have run afoul of laws that prevent crude exports under most circumstances. -- Ben Geman
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