Bloomberg News

Export Ban on U.S. Oil Pushed by Democrats as Prices Soar

March 27, 2012

Congressional Democrats are pushing to ban exports of American oil in an attempt to limit energy cost increases.

Representative Edward Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat, said today he plans to introduce a bill this week in the Republican-led House banning export of any oil that is produced from or that is transported across U.S. public lands.

Past efforts to pass similar legislation have failed. Senator Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat, tried to ban exports of refined products derived from crude carried by the TransCanada Corp. (TRP)’s Keystone XL pipeline. His amendment, offered as part of the transportation bill, failed to get enough support during a March 8 vote.

“This is American oil and it should benefit American consumers, not just Big Oil’s bottom line,” Markey said during a House Natural Resources Committee hearing in Washington today. “The oil companies and their Republican allies in Congress talk about drilling for more American energy, but their plan is really about more American energy exports.”

Crude oil and gasoline price jumps caused Republicans including Representative Doc Hastings from Washington, chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, to urge President Barack Obama to allow oil exploration off the coast of Virginia and Florida, and let TransCanada build the Keystone pipeline from Canada to refineries on the U.S. Gulf of Mexico.

“The Keystone pipeline would set up the United States as a conduit to send Canadian oil to a foreign trade zone,” Markey said.

Oil advanced more than 8 percent this year, and the average price for unleaded gasoline at the pump climbed about 19 percent to $3.90 a gallon yesterday, according to AAA data.

-- Editors: Jon Morgan, Steve Geimann

To contact the reporters on this story: Katarzyna Klimasinska in Washington at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jon Morgan at

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