AFL-CIO President Opposes Lifting Ban on Crude-Oil Exports

WASHINGTON - APRIL 18: AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka speaks during a rally at the Lafayette Square, north of the White House, April 18, 2011 in Washington, DC. Energy Action Coalition held a rally and a march to protest against corporations that pay no federal taxes. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
National Journal
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Clare Foran
Jan. 14, 2014, 10:08 a.m.

AFL-CIO Pres­id­ent Richard Trumka said Tues­day he op­poses lift­ing a ban on crude-oil ex­ports.

“We have some of the oil com­pan­ies try­ing to get us to ex­port crude oil so that we can have it re­fined abroad and have it brought back to this coun­try. We’re go­ing to be op­pos­ing all of those things,” Trumka said dur­ing a press call out­lining the labor or­gan­iz­a­tion’s policy pri­or­it­ies for the com­ing year.

Trumka’s com­ments came the same day that Sen­ate En­ergy and Nat­ur­al Re­sources Com­mit­tee rank­ing mem­ber Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, penned a let­ter to the White House ur­ging Pres­id­ent Obama to lift the dec­ades-old ban on crude-oil ex­ports, an in­dic­a­tion that de­bate over the is­sue is heat­ing up.

Trumka also said he would be watch­ing the pres­id­ent’s State of the Uni­on ad­dress later this month closely and hopes Obama will an­nounce ad­di­tion­al pub­lic in­vest­ment in in­fra­struc­ture.

“What would work best to grow our eco­nomy is a com­pre­hens­ive strategy to in­vest in in­fra­struc­ture and en­ergy in­nov­a­tion, and I’m talk­ing about meas­ur­ing our in­vest­ment in tril­lions,” Trumka said.

The AFL-CIO pres­id­ent also re­it­er­ated his sup­port for con­struc­tion of the Key­stone XL oil pipeline that would trans­port crude oil from Canada to Gulf Coast re­finer­ies.

“Any­thing that makes sense and cre­ates jobs and is sound en­vir­on­ment­al policy as well, we will be do­ing it. [With re­spect to] the XL pipeline, there’s no en­vir­on­ment­al reas­on that it can’t be done safely while at the same time cre­at­ing jobs,” he said.