The United States is the only country that has a ban on exporting crude oil. This Friday the U.S. House of Representatives will vote on a bill that seeks to lift the ban on exporting U.S. crude oil. It’s a cold war era ban that was originally put in place during oil shortages in the 1970s.
Congressman Ryan Zinke is co-sponsoring H.R. 702, and today he held a press conference to discuss the future of Montana’s energy economy.
Zinke said lifting the ban would create more than 2,400 new jobs, and generate $120 million in economic growth in Montana alone.
He’s talked with refineries throughout Montana and all show strong support for lifting the ban.
“The good thing is we have a lot of rigs that are sitting without activity, so we’re going to see more rigs back into service–service industry jobs primarily out of Billings, Sydney and the oil patch for us,” Zinke said.
The bill is also expected to strengthen our country’s global influence, and it would lower U.S. gasoline prices by as much as $1.50 per gallon.
Zinke is confident this bill will receive bipartisan support in the house.
Over in the senate, U.S. Senator Steve Daines’ is already on board with lifting the ban and is a co-sponsor of legislation that would do the same.
As for Senator Jon Tester, he said he believes the bill has good merit, but would like to see more discussion on creating an energy package that also includes reauthorizing and fully funding the land water conservation fund.
In his press conference, Zinke also discussed H.R. 538, or the Native American Energy Act. Zinke said it’s legislation that addresses the federal government’s overregulation of Indian lands to promote energy development in tribes. The act is supported by the crow nation and no tribe opposes it.