Voters Support Congress Overturning Oil Export Ban

by Tim Wigley, President on June 2, 2015 - 7:53am

Support is strong among likely voters for Congress to overturn the crude oil export ban, with majorities across political parties in favor of repeal.

As I highlighted in an earlier post on our recent national survey, the public is engaged on issues impacting the oil and natural gas industry, especially on exports.

Export SupportThe results show 57%, a clear majority, support Congress lifting the ban on crude oil exports to allow for trade with allied nations. Only 36% do not support overturning the ban

Diving deeper, the results show this isn’t a partisan issue. A balanced majority across all parties agree Congress should move forward, with 65% among Republicans and 51% among both Democrats and Independents.

When voters understand that changing this dated policy and expanding trade will lead to savings at the pump and economic growth for the country, they are more likely to support reversing the export ban. We shared a recent study from analyst firm IHS that found lifting the crude oil export ban would lead to an annual household savings of $391. In response, 67% of those surveyed were more likely to support changing the policy. 

Export Support Upon Hearing The Following...We’re beginning to see our elected officials respond to this non-partisan sentiment. Three weeks ago, Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski introduced the Energy Supply and Distribution Act of 2015 (S.1312), a bill to end the export ban. She was joined by Democratic Senator Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota.

In Colorado, Democratic Governor John Hickenlooper recently came out in support of overturning the ban. The governor sent a letter to U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker calling for the Obama Administration to support legislative action from Congress, citing exports as, “…the next logical step to ensuring that domestic producers continue to invest and that energy consumers benefit.”

There aren’t many issues these policymakers agree on. But on an issue like the oil export ban, which dates back to the mid-1970’s and the Ford Administration, their consensus for legislative change is driven by strong public support.

A summary and full results of our survey are available and include data on a variety of other topics impacting our industry, including federal-state balance in regulating production on public lands, wildlife conservation and managing endangered species.

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