Washington (May 18, 2023) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), chair of the Senate Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Clean Air, Climate, and Nuclear Safety, and Representatives Adriano Espaillat (NY-13) and Yvette Clarke (NY-09) today announced the reintroduction of the Block All New (BAN) Fossil Fuel Exports Act, legislation that would amend the Energy Policy and Conservation Act and ban the export of American crude oil and natural gas abroad to protect frontline communities from dangerous export infrastructure, prioritize U.S. consumers against fossil fuel profiteering, and help ensure the United States meets its climate and clean energy commitments on the world stage. Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) are cosponsors.
In 2015, President Obama signed into law legislation that lifted the 40-year old ban restricting exports of U.S. oil overseas. Since the ban was lifted, historic amounts of U.S. oil and natural gas have been exported to countries abroad. Last year, exports of U.S. crude oil rose by 22 percent from 2021 to reach a record of 3.6 million barrels per day. Earlier this year, the Energy Information Administration stated that increased U.S. liquid natural gas (LNG) exports caused natural gas prices to rise for domestic customers.
“Oil and gas companies continue to pad their pockets at the expense of American consumers and frontline communities – all while fueling our global climate crisis,” said Senator Markey. “Our country is due for an oil change. A ban on oil and natural gas exports overseas is a win for environmental justice, for our economy, and for our planet.”
“The BAN Fossil Fuel Exports Act is a much-needed step to prioritize American consumers and to reaffirm the U.S.’s commitment to addressing climate change on a global scale,” said Representative Espaillat. “As our national economy continues its recovery following the COVID-19 pandemic, we must ensure hard-working Americans are not shouldered with the burdens of high energy costs and the real-world effects of global heating. This bill would make real progress towards preserving our planet while supporting American families by bringing down domestic costs.”
"If our nation is to overcome the climate crisis, we cannot offload the burden of beating it onto the American people. The threat posed by devastating climate impacts and rising energy costs is far too great not to pursue legislative solutions that keep their best interests in mind I’m proud to stand with my colleagues to reintroduce the BAN Fossil Fuel Exports Act – a bill that prioritizes climate action while refusing to neglect the American people and their communities,” said Representative Clarke.
A copy of the legislation can be found HERE.
The BAN Fossil Fuel Exports Act is endorsed by 70 grassroots organizations, including Earthworks, Sierra Club, Center for Biological Diversity, Public Citizen, Friends of the Earth, Food and Water Watch, Turtle Island Restoration Network, Oil Change International, Climate Law Institute, and Center for Oil and Gas Organizing.
“While we are making impressive progress in building new clean energy sources, those gains mean little unless we stop the oil and gas drilling that fuels climate chaos and pollutes the air and water in environmental justice communities across the country,” said Wenonah Hauter, Executive Director of Food & Water Watch. “The Ban Fossil Fuel Exports Act is a bold step in the right direction: It can put a stop to the damage and destruction that is delivered by greedy fossil fuel corporations.”
In March, Senator Markey and Representatives Ayanna Pressley (MA-07) and Rashida Tlaib (MI-12) reintroduced the Fossil Free Finance Act, legislation that would direct the Federal Reserve to require major banks and other Systemically Important Financial Institutions (SIFIs) to stop financing projects and activities linked to increased greenhouse gas emissions and submit a plan on how they would meet these requirements. Last October, Senator Markey reintroduced the OPEC Accountability Act, legislation to require the U.S. President to initiate consultations with the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and some non-OPEC countries to reduce crude oil production.