Dan K. Eberhart, the CEO of Canary, LLC (Houston), one of the largest private oil field services companies in America, announced today that the House of Representatives’ vote to lift the 40 year-old US crude oil export ban “represents a historic reawakening for American energy.”
“This is the moment we’ve been waiting for, a bellwether for change in our economy and an opportunity to open competitive, free market petroleum trade worldwide,” Eberhart said. “Representative Joe Barton (R-Texas), who sponsored H.R. 702, the bill lifting the ban, today won a resounding victory for all of us. The House vote 261 to 159 shows we are ready to reinvigorate American energy production, cut imports and free up additional supplies to provide allies and neutral nations with an alternate – and safe – source of petroleum supply.”
The historic ban on crude oil exports has been an American government policy since the 1970s, when the US suffered a devastating oil embargo courtesy of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). The embargo instilled fears about US energy dependency and OPEC’s power as a “swing producer” to manipulate global petroleum supplies and prices at will. By December 1975, President Gerald Ford signed a ban on most US energy exports that remains in place today.
“Today, though, America’s boom in shale oil and gas exploration has pushed domestic petroleum stockpiles to near historic levels,” Eberhart continued. “Thanks to hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling, the US actually surpassed both Saudi Arabia and Russia as the world’s top energy producer in 2014. And we are now in the position of becoming ‘swing producer’ since Saudi Arabia has essentially relinquished that role.”
“All the signs are pointing to our future as the world’s energy superpower,” Eberhart says. “But we need strong action in the Senate so a final bill lifting the ban can be signed into law.”
Eberhart sees this as a defining moment for the industry, and the end goal of a campaign launched by Canary in the fall of 2014 entitled #TalkCrude, which urged lawmakers and industry leaders to support lifting the ban on crude oil exports. Canary maintains this list as a resource for anyone who wants to know more about how public figures stand on the ban: http://canaryusa.com/everybody-talks-crude/.
With a potential industry-altering decision on the horizon, Eberhart says he is optimistic. In recent weeks, leading Democrats, including Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada), Senator Robert Menendez (D-New Jersey), and Senator Heidi Heitcamp (D-North Dakota), suggest an energy “grand bargain” could be struck if energy legislation were written that would remove the export ban and also provide incentives for renewables and climate protections.
“Lifting the export ban will certainly energize a dozen or more petroleum companies, currently crippled by low oil prices, and desperate for reformed export rules that would help keep our domestic energy industry alive,” Eberhart said. “But more than bootstrapping our own economy, a vote to end the US crude export ban will usher in a new era of thinking about global energy interdependence and the power of free markets. It will be a clear message that we stand ready to help vulnerable nations everywhere.”
Image: A behind the scenes shot of the Canary export ban wallscape at NY Avenue and 6th St Washington D.C.
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