Murkowski to Obama: Lift Oil-Export Ban

National Journal hosts "Countdown to Coppenhagen" on November 4, 2009 with NJ's political director Ron Brownstein interviewing Senator John Kerry D-MA and Senator Lisa Murkowski.
National Journal
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Amy Harder
Jan. 14, 2014, 7:41 a.m.

The top Re­pub­lic­an on the Sen­ate En­ergy and Nat­ur­al Re­sources Com­mit­tee is ask­ing Pres­id­ent Obama to lift the dec­ades-old ban on ex­port­ing crude oil.

“Lift­ing the ban will help cre­ate jobs, boost the eco­nomy, and keep our pro­duc­tion at re­cord levels,” Sen. Lisa Murkowski wrote in a let­ter to Obama on Tues­day.

Murkowski re­leased a re­port and gave a speech last week lay­ing out the reas­ons that the ban, which Con­gress put in place in the af­ter­math of the 1973 oil em­bargo by Middle East pro­du­cers, should be elim­in­ated. She said the Com­merce De­part­ment, which gov­erns the small amount of oil ex­ports al­lowed now, could lift the ban or Obama could do it him­self.

“The ne­ces­sity of lift­ing the pro­hib­i­tion on crude-oil ex­ports also presents us with a rare op­por­tun­ity to work to­geth­er in a bi­par­tis­an fash­ion to ad­dress this situ­ation be­fore it be­comes a prob­lem,” said Murkowski, not­ing that the ban is poised to cre­ate oil-glut prob­lems soon.

Murkowski doesn’t even have the full sup­port of her own party, though. Key House Re­pub­lic­ans, in­clud­ing Reps. Ed Whit­field of Ken­tucky and Doug Lam­born of Col­or­ado, re­acted cau­tiously to the pro­spect of lift­ing the ban and did not en­dorse such a policy change.