HOUSTON — The Energy Department is preparing new analyses of the potential effects of lifting U.S. restrictions on crude oil exports as political pressure on the Obama administration to ease the decades-old limits increases.
Adam Sieminski, head of the Energy Information Administration, said he envisions a “series of reports that begin to lay the foundations to allow policymakers to understand the issue.”
Sieminski said the reports will explore how crude exports would affect refining, infrastructure, transportation, whether continuing the heavy restrictions could stymie production, and other topics.
“EIA is going to be investigating a number of these things and we will come out from time to time with reports that should help policymakers understand the issues,” Sieminski at the IHS CERAWeek conference here.
“There are a number of factors that go into trying to understand the role of exports in the energy area,” he added, noting that he has been thinking of the topic since his tenure at EIA, the Energy Department’s independent statistical analysis arm, began.
The Energy Department does not set oil-export policy, but department officials say they can provide analytical assistance to other officials and lawmakers.
Major oil companies and some lawmakers, notably Sen. Lisa Murkowski, an Alaska Republican, say that the surge in U.S. production means it’s time to reconsider the major export restrictions imposed after the 1970s Arab oil embargo.
Current U.S. policy allows only a small amount of crude oil exports. Companies including Exxon and Chevron want the limits relaxed.
A pair of Senate Democrats last month urged EIA to probe the effects of allowing exports.
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With three days until the first debate, the polls are coming fast and furious. The latest round:
- An Associated Press/Gfk poll of registered voters found very few voters committed, with Clinton leading Trump, 37% to 29%, and Gary Johnson at 7%.
- A McClatchy-Marist poll gave Clinton a six-point edge, 45% to 39%, in a four-way ballot test. Johnson pulls 10% support, with Jill Stein at 4%.
- Rasmussen, which has drawn criticism for continually showing Donald Trump doing much better than he does in other polls, is at it again. A new survey gives Trump a five-point lead, 44%-39%.
In contrast to Hillary Clinton's meticulous debate practice sessions, Donald Trump "is largely shunning traditional debate preparations, but has been watching video of…Clinton’s best and worst debate moments, looking for her vulnerabilities.” Trump “has paid only cursory attention to briefing materials. He has refused to use lecterns in mock debate sessions despite the urging of his advisers. He prefers spitballing ideas with his team rather than honing them into crisp, two-minute answers.”
Donald Trump "is on the precipice of becoming the only major-party presidential candidate this century not to reach out to millions of American voters whose dominant, first or just preferred language is Spanish. Trump has not only failed to buy any Spanish-language television or radio ads, he so far has avoided even offering a translation of his website into Spanish, breaking with two decades of bipartisan tradition."
Bill and Hillary Clinton have purchased the home next door to their primary residence in tony Chappaqua, New York, for $1.16 million. "By purchasing the new home, the Clinton's now own the entire cul-de-sac at the end of the road in the leafy New York suburb. The purchase makes it easier for the United States Secret Service to protect the former president and possible future commander in chief."