Dems Seek ‘Comprehensive’ Federal Study of Crude-Oil Exports

Roundtable Discussion on "Expanding Health Care Coverage" Ron Wyden
National Journal
Ben Geman
Add to Briefcase
Ben Geman
Feb. 6, 2014, 9:47 a.m.

Two Sen­ate Demo­crats want En­ergy De­part­ment num­ber crunch­ers to launch a broad study of how end­ing the ban on U.S. crude-oil ex­ports would af­fect en­ergy prices and pro­duc­tion levels.

Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., who is out­go­ing chair­man of the Sen­ate En­ergy and Nat­ur­al Re­sources Com­mit­tee, and Sen. Maria Can­t­well, D-Wash., sent a let­ter ask­ing for “com­pre­hens­ive ana­lys­is.” The sen­at­ors’ Feb. 3 let­ter asks the En­ergy In­form­a­tion Ad­min­is­tra­tion, which is the de­part­ment’s in­de­pend­ent stat­ist­ic­al arm, to pre­dict what would hap­pen if “un­lim­ited” ex­ports were al­lowed.

The let­ter from Wyden and Can­t­well, who also sits on the en­ergy pan­el, ar­rives as some ma­jor busi­ness and in­dustry groups are lob­by­ing for the end of dec­ades-old policies that al­low just very small amounts of crude-oil ex­ports. But skep­ti­cism about ex­ports among Demo­crats like Wyden, and in some cases out­right op­pos­i­tion, means that any le­gis­lat­ive changes are quite un­likely any time soon. House Re­pub­lic­ans are still find­ing their way on the top­ic too.

The Sen­ate let­ter ask­ing for new ana­lys­is un­der­scores how the Cap­it­ol Hill battle is in its early phases, and why some ex­port ad­voc­ates hope for near­er-term ad­min­is­tra­tion ac­tions to soften the ban.

Wyden and Can­t­well want re­view of how the ex­ports would af­fect na­tion­al prices for crude oil and re­fined products like gas­ol­ine; pro­duc­tion levels and con­sump­tion; and oth­er factors.

However, ex­port back­ers will get a boost soon be­cause Louisi­ana Demo­crat Mary Landrieu, an in­dustry ally who is more bullish on ex­ports than Wyden, is slated to take over the Sen­ate’s En­ergy Com­mit­tee.

The Sen­ate voted Thursday to con­firm Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., to be am­bas­sad­or to China. Wyden is slated to snag Baucus’s Fin­ance Com­mit­tee chair­man­ship, which in turn is ex­pec­ted to put the en­ergy gavel in Landrieu’s hands.

What We're Following See More »
Zinke Confirmed As Interior Secretary
1 hours ago
House GOP Blocks Dems on Trump Ethics
3 hours ago

On a party-line vote, "the House Judiciary Committee defeated a Democratic effort Tuesday to obtain any information the Justice Department has on possible conflicts, ethical violations or improper connections to Russia by President Donald Trump and his associates. The committee’s Republican chairman, Bob Goodlatte, opposed the resolution, even as he acknowledged the Justice Department hasn’t acted on his own request for a briefing on alleged Russian interference with the U.S. election and potential ties to the Trump campaign." He said he'll be sending a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions requesting him to pursue "all legitimate investigative leads" into those matters.

Trump Holds Off on New Travel Ban
3 hours ago

"President Donald Trump won’t sign a revised travel ban on Wednesday as had been anticipated, two senior administration officials confirmed. One of the officials indicated that the delay was due to the busy news cycle, and that when Trump does sign the revised order, he wanted it to get plenty of attention."

Donald Trump Affirms Support For NATO
14 hours ago

Near the end of his speech Tuesday, Donald Trump made a firm proclamation affirming his support for NATO. "We strongly support NATO, an alliance forged through the bonds of two World Wars that dethroned fascism, and a Cold War that defeated communism," Trump said. However, he continued on, "our partners must meet their financial obligations."

Obamacare Repeal Portion Lacks Specifics
15 hours ago

In his address to a joint session of Congress, Donald Trump called on the two chambers "to repeal and replace Obamacare with reforms that expand choice, increase access, lower costs, and at the same time, provide better Healthcare." The entire section of Republican members of Congress united in a standing ovation, while Democrats sat silently, with some even giving a thumbs down to the cameras. At one point, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi was shown shaking her head in disapproval. While Trump called for the repeal and replacement of Obamacare, he failed to give any specifics, though he did say those with preexisting conditions should have access to care and give flexibility back to the states.


Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.