Provision to lift the crude export ban would be disaster for consumers, climate, nat’l security
Washington (December 16, 2015) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), a member of the Environment and Public Works Committee and chair of the Senate Climate Change Clearinghouse, released the following statement on the government spending bill and tax break extenders package released last night by House Republicans.
“Lifting the crude oil export ban is nothing more than Big Oil corporate welfare. As beneficiaries already of billions of dollars every year of permanent tax breaks, Big Oil stands to benefit now in the tens of billions by lifting the crude oil export ban. The oil industry wants to send our oil overseas to the highest bidder even as we still import millions of barrels of oil every day from nations around the world in unstable regions. This repeal isn’t about helping consumers at the pump, it’s about pumping up Big Oil’s profits.
“The clean energy provisions in this spending package are Big Oil’s Trojan horse for enacting the largest energy tax American consumers have ever seen. Saudi Arabia and their OPEC allies can control the global oil trade. OPEC recently suggested oil prices may rise next year, jeopardizing the economic benefits that low gasoline prices have provided for average Americans. And in exchange for another permanent benefit for Big Oil by lifting the export ban, Republicans would only extend wind and solar tax credits for a few years that end with them being phased out. That’s not a good deal for America or New England. The wind tax credits being phased down through 2019 could be a deathblow for Massachusetts’s nascent offshore wind industry that needs the additional time and assistance to get projects off the ground off our shores.
“We know Republicans aided by the oil and gas industry won’t stop with just lifting the crude oil export ban. Their goal is to roll back all of the measures that will help us reduce our oil consumption and decrease carbon pollution, including fuel economy standards, the renewable fuel standard and President Obama’s Clean Power Plan. By pushing to repeal the crude oil export ban, the oil industry and Congressional Republicans have abandoned any pretense that they are committed to North American energy independence.”