Markey, Holt, Owens Introduce Bill to Keep America’s Oil, Fuel in America

WASHINGTON (March 29, 2012) – Looking to stem the tide of America’s oil and fuels that are being sent abroad at a time of high gas prices and high domestic production, three House Democrats today introduced legislation that would end the exportation of oil extracted from taxpayer-owned lands, and the exportation of refined fuels like gasoline produced from America’s oil. Reps. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Rush Holt (D-N.J.) and Bill Owens (D-N.Y.) are offering the “Keep America’s Oil Here Act” as an antidote to plans by the oil and gas industry to increase exports of America’s resources.
The legislation would require that new leases issued by the Department of the Interior for drilling on public lands include a requirement that all oil and refined fuels produced from those leases be sold in the United States. Last year, America achieved an 8-year high in oil production, yet our number one export in value was our fuel, more than $100 billion worth.
A copy of the legislation can be found HERE.
Oil companies and their Republican allies say they want to produce more American energy, but their real plan is just to create more American energy exports,” said Rep. Markey, who is the top Democrat on the Natural Resources Committee. “The oil below taxpayer-owned lands belongs to the American people, and should stay here in America to help American consumers and strengthen our national security.”
“The simple truth is our oil is being shipped overseas to markets that will pay even more than we do,” said Rep. Owens. “Since June of 2009, the number of oil rigs operating in the United States has increased by more than six-fold while the average price of gas continues to climb.  Put simply, we’re producing more of our own energy, but at a higher cost to American families.  We need to make sure that more oil pumped on taxpayer property stays here in the United States to help increase supply and bring down the price at the pump. This bill -- coupled with an aggressive crackdown on oil speculators -- will leave working families with more money in their pockets and put us on the path towards energy security.”
The United States is a net exporter of refined petroleum products to 60 countries and territories. These countries include such as China, Singapore, Chile, and Morocco.
Over the past ten years, exports have tripled. Last year, the United States was a net exporter of refined petroleum products for the first time in decades. The greatest share of these exports—29 percent—was distillate fuel oil, which is used primarily for diesel engines, space heating, and electric power generation. But we also exported 5.7 billion gallons of gasoline in 2011.
The legislation would provide for a few exceptions such as if the President determined a waiver was in the national interest, if it would not result in an increase in net exports and if it was necessary to fulfill our North American trade agreements and the oil or fuel was being consumed in North America.
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