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 »
ARGUE THE REPEAL IS WITHIN TRUMP’S PRESIDENTIAL POWERS
Trump Administration Appeals 9th Circuit Decision on DACA
7 minutes ago
THE LATEST

Last Wednesday, a Federal Judge in San Francisco ruled that the Obama-era DACA program must be allowed to continue until lawsuits play out in court. The Trump administration has appealed that decision on the grounds that President Obama exceeded his authority by creating the program, and that Congress must pass legislation protecting dreamers if they are to be allowed to stay. “It defies both law and common sense," said Attorney General Sessions in a statement, that a “single district court in San Francisco” had halted the administration’s plans. The White House will also petition the Supreme Court to intervene in the case, in an unusual bid to bypass the Ninth Circuit altogether.

Source:
WOULD STILL FACE HOUSE VOTE, TRUMP’S APPROVAL
Senate Democrats Need GOP Ally in Vote to Reinstate Net Neutrality
2 hours ago
THE DETAILS
Source:
WOULD INCLUDE SLEDDING HILL, WOMEN’S GARDEN, SPORTS CENTER
Chicago Advocacy Groups Oppose New Obama Foundation Center
2 hours ago
THE DETAILS

A number of historical and environmental groups oppose construction of President Obama's presidential center in the proposed site, Jackson Park. Charles Birnbaum, president and founder of D.C.-based nonprofit, the Cultural Landscape Foundation, said that there is "plenty of land on the South Side that they could and should use," but that the organizers "have been adamant that they must have historic public parkland for the purpose." Birnbaum is joined by Friends of the Parks, Jackson Park Watch, Openlands, National Association for Olmsted Parks, Save the Midway, Landmarks Illinois, Preservation Chicago, and 200 faculty at the University of Chicago, Obama's alma mater. President Trump's Environmental Protection Agency gets final say on approval, and may reject it if the center is found to have "adverse effects" on Jackson Park.

Source:
FIRST TRIP ABROAD
DHS Sec. Nielsen Going to Canada
2 hours ago
THE LATEST
HAPPENED LAST WEEK
Bannon Subpoenaed By Mueller
4 hours ago
THE LATEST

"The move marked the first time Mr. Mueller is known to have used a grand jury subpoena to seek information from a member of Mr. Trump’s inner circle. ...Mr. Mueller is likely to allow Mr. Bannon to forgo the grand jury appearance if he agrees to instead be questioned by investigators in the less formal setting of the special counsel’s offices in Washington."

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