Markey Assails ‘Slippery Slope’ of Reported Erosion of Crude Oil Export Ban

WASHINGTON (June 24, 2014) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) today strongly disagreed with the reported decision by the Commerce Department to allow the export of some ultra-light crude oil, otherwise known as condensates, as was first reported in the Wall Street Journal. The ban on crude oil exports was put in place by Congress in the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975, when tensions were high with the Middle East and America’s import levels were approximately the same as they are today.

The regulations on the crude oil export ban discuss these condensates as being included under the prohibition in the law.

Senator Markey wrote a letter to Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker about the crude oil export ban. 

Below is the statement of Senator Markey, who is a member of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee and chairs the Foreign Relations subcommittee that deals with international energy issues:

“This reported decision by the Commerce Department puts America on a slippery slope to send more of our oil abroad, even at a time when the Middle East is in disarray and tensions are running high with Russia. We should keep our resources here at home for American families and businesses, not send this oil abroad even as we import oil from dangerous regions of the world.

“Congress put this oil export ban in place. It should be Congress that decides when and how to change it, not through a private ruling by the Commerce Department without public debate.”