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US senators introduce bill to end oil export ban

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Staff writer ▼ | May 14, 2015
A group of U.S. senators introduced a bipartisan bill to end the 40-year-old self-imposed ban on U.S. crude oil exports.
US oil export
Oil and gas business   The 40-year-old self-imposed ban
Lisa Murkowski, the chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Energy and Resources, joined forces with Democrat Senator Heidi Heitkamp and 11 others to introduce the bill.

"This bipartisan legislation would modernize federal energy policy by ending the outdated ban on crude oil exports," the committee said in a statement on its website.

"America’s energy landscape has changed dramatically since the export ban was put in place in the 1970s," Murkowski said in the statement. "We have moved from energy scarcity to energy abundance. Unfortunately, our energy policies have not kept pace."

The ban on U.S. oil exports began after the Arab oil embargo in 1973 revealed the U.S.'s dependency on foreign oil resources.

Haitkamp called the ban on crude oil exports as "nonsensical" and "outdated as the typewriters on which the policy was written."

Since its shale oil boom in 2008, the U.S. has increased its domestic oil production rapidly, from around 5 million barrels a day in 2009 to more than 8 million barrels per day in 2014.

The U.S.'s Energy Information Administration projects the country's crude oil production to rise from an average of 9.3 million barrels a day in 2015, to reach a record 10.6 million barrels per day in 2020.

The world's biggest economy is the third largest oil producer in the world after Saudi Arabia and Russia.