API Leader Says Oil Industry United in Seeking End to Ban on Crude Exports

Jack Gerard, API
National Journal
Amy Harder
Add to Briefcase
Amy Harder
Jan. 7, 2014, 4:35 p.m.

Wash­ing­ton should lift its dec­ades-old ban on crude-oil ex­ports re­gard­less of some oil com­pan­ies’ op­pos­i­tion to it be­cause it’s in the coun­try’s na­tion­al in­terests, Amer­ic­an Pet­ro­leum In­sti­tute CEO and Pres­id­ent Jack Ger­ard said Tues­day.

Ger­ard ad­dressed a re­port by Na­tion­al Journ­al pub­lished Tues­day that a rift was brew­ing with­in the in­dustry — between do­mest­ic pro­du­cers and re­finers — over wheth­er the ban should be lif­ted.

Be­cause the ban ap­plies only to crude oil, re­finers are bet­ter­ing their bot­tom lines by ex­port­ing re­fined oil products at re­cord rates. Some re­finers op­pose end­ing the ban. That’s not the case with API’s more than 500 mem­bers, Ger­ard said Tues­day.

“We be­lieve the na­tion­al in­terest will over­whelm self-in­terest,” Ger­ard said in an in­ter­view after his group’s an­nu­al lunch­eon. “There will be some who will ar­tic­u­late self-in­terest. We don’t be­lieve that’s in the best in­terest to the na­tion.”

Ger­ard was asked if there was un­an­im­ity among all API mem­bers, in­clud­ing those that are primar­ily re­finers like Mara­thon Pet­ro­leum and Phil­lips 66 as well as in­dustry gi­ants such as Ex­xon Mo­bil and Chev­ron that both pro­duce and re­fine oil. “I know our mem­ber com­pan­ies are on the same page,” he said.

In emailed re­sponses to Na­tion­al Journ­al last week, spokes­men for Mara­thon and Phil­lips said they don’t op­pose lift­ing the ban. An­oth­er re­finer, Valero, said it does not sup­port end­ing the ban. Valero is not an API mem­ber but is part of the Amer­ic­an Fuel and Pet­ro­chem­ic­al Man­u­fac­tur­ers, a small trade group rep­res­ent­ing re­finery com­pan­ies whose of­fi­cial po­s­i­tion is also sup­port­ive of lift­ing the ban.

Some re­finers privately op­pose lift­ing the ban, and oth­ers are still fig­ur­ing out what their of­fi­cial po­s­i­tion should be.

Ger­ard de­livered his an­nu­al State of the En­ergy speech at his group’s lunch­eon Tues­day, and to the sur­prise of some ana­lysts and at­tendees, he fell short of call­ing ex­pli­citly for lift­ing the oil-ex­port ban, which dates back to the 1973 OPEC oil em­bargo, to be ended. So, was that in­ten­tion­al?

“No, not at all,” Ger­ard said. “I prob­ably fell short in a lot of areas.”

He had also in­dic­ated a couple of months earli­er that this wasn’t a top-tier is­sue for his group, a sign of how quickly things can change in a city where polit­ics usu­ally slow everything down.

“We’re not fo­cused on that primar­ily in the short-term,” Ger­ard said in an in­ter­view with Na­tion­al Journ­al in Novem­ber.

In less than two months, state­ments by ma­jor oil com­pan­ies and a sig­nal of will­ing­ness to re­vis­it the ban by En­ergy Sec­ret­ary Ern­est Mon­iz has thrust the is­sue to the front burn­er. A ma­jor speech by Sen­ate En­ergy and Nat­ur­al Re­sources Com­mit­tee rank­ing mem­ber Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, call­ing for an end to the crude-ex­port ban also gave new en­ergy to the is­sue.

This has all changed Ger­ard’s out­look.

“I think the events have over­taken the ori­gin­al thought that [the ex­port ban is­sue] would gradu­ally roll out over time,” he said.

While the de­bate has come quickly, ac­tion in Con­gress is likely to be much slower, if it comes at all.

What We're Following See More »
QUAKE OFF ALASKA THIS MORNING
Tsumani Warning Partially Canceled
1 hours ago
THE DETAILS
Source:
WRAY THREATENED TO RESIGN
Sessions Pressured Wray to Fire Andrew McCabe
1 hours ago
THE DETAILS

"Attorney General Jeff Sessions — at the public urging of President Donald Trump — has been pressuring FBI Director Christopher Wray to fire Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, but Wray threatened to resign if McCabe was removed, according to three sources with direct knowledge."

Source:
ANNOUNCEMENT AND DATE SOON
Trump to Invite Macron For First State Visit
2 hours ago
THE DETAILS

"Trump is expected to invite French President Emmanuel Macron to Washington for an official state visit later this year...While a date for the visit has not yet been officially set and the White House has not made an announcement, sources say that could come as soon as this week, while Trump attends the World Economic Forum in Davos."

Source:
SHUTDOWN OFFICIALLY ENDS
Trump Signs Spending Bill
11 hours ago
THE LATEST
DACA VOTE TO COME
Dems Agree to Take McConnell’s Deal
20 hours ago
THE LATEST

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said he's accepting Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's offer to hold an immigration vote at a later date, "clearing the way for passage of a bill to reopen the federal government" today. "McConnell early Monday promised to take up an immigration bill that would protect an estimated 800,000 Dreamers from deportation, under an open amendment process, if Democrats would agree to end the government shutdown."

Source:
×
×

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.

Login