For Immediate Release
Burke, VA, October 9, 2015—Today the U.S. House of representatives passed legislation to end the ban on crude oil exports by a large bipartisan majority. This policy—a free-market policy—is good for the American people as a whole, but most significantly is good for those Americans, and people across the world, struggling to break the cycle of poverty.
High energy prices have created a phenomenon called “energy poverty” in wealthy countries. But even more than the thousands of human beings who die every year in Western countries due to fuel poverty are the millions of human beings who die every year in the developing world due to a lack of affordable, reliable, energy. “By adding to America’s contribution to global crude oil supply, we’ll see the world price of crude and petrochemical products, including gasoline and diesel, fall, and since America’s gasoline prices react to the world price, we’ll see prices fall here. Even more important to me, though, is that it would result in lower prices for people in developing countries, whose rise out of poverty will accelerate as a result,” said Cornwall Alliance Founder Dr. E. Calvin Beisner.
In addition to the beneficial impacts for those in poverty, allowing oil producers access to the world market will incentivize energy sector growth in the United States, which will mean an estimated increase in new jobs of 394,000 to 859,000 every year.
U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) will also receive a significant increase from lifting the ban on crude oil exports. The Brookings Institute estimates the boost to GDP could be from $550 billion to $1.8 trillion from 2015-2039, while The Aspen Institute estimates $105 billion to $165 billion from 2017-2021, ICF International estimates $10.1 billion to $27.1 billion from 2015-2035, and IHS estimates $86 billion to $170 billion from 2016-2030.
We have heard statements from various members of the U.S. House that exporting crude oil “will cause increased ‘climate change,’” and that this policy “pollutes first and asks questions later.” Yet, there has been no global warming in almost 19 years even though CO2 levels have increased and reached 400 parts per million—the levels which environmental alarmists claimed would cause massive global climate damage. It is clear that the impacts of greenhouse gasses on the climate are not understood, and have been grossly exaggerated.
Market freedom is the best way of ensuring that resources go where they’re most needed. Trade restrictions, therefore, should be used only where clearly justified by national security concerns. Whether it ever really was or not, sufficient oil supply is no longer a national security concern for the United States. It’s time to free the market for our burgeoning oil production, and take one more step towards raising millions of people out of terrible poverty.
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Media contact: Megan Toombs, Communications & Outreach Coordinator, Megan@CornwallAlliance.org, 703-569-4653