Ron Ness: Ending The Oil Export Ban Would Be Good For North Dakota

Our nation today has an opportunity to change the world for the better and this change can come from North Dakota. Thanks to the Bakken, our state can move the nation toward greater energy security with the potential to once again make the U.S. an energy superpower.

Only one obstacle stands in the way: the decades-old ban on export crude oil. However, North Dakota’s Congressional delegation in Washington has led legislation to lift the ban, and we want to commend Sens. John Hoeven and Heidi Heitkamp and Rep. Kevin Cramer for their action on this issue.

This export ban is a relic from 1973 when our energy resources seemed limited. Thanks to the ingenuity and innovation of energy leaders, that is no longer the case. Today, thanks to new technology developed right here in North Dakota, our country has an energy surplus even as other nations struggle with an energy deficit.

[mks_pullquote align=”right” width=”300″ size=”24″ bg_color=”#000000″ txt_color=”#ffffff”]This ban, however, forbids our nation from participating in trade, giving other countries — sometimes our enemies — a monopoly over energy supply and demand. This has meant that for far too long, they have been able to manipulate prices and politics.[/mks_pullquote]

This ban, however, forbids our nation from participating in trade, giving other countries — sometimes our enemies — a monopoly over energy supply and demand. This has meant that for far too long, they have been able to manipulate prices and politics.

But this doesn’t have to be the case. By lifting the export ban on crude oil, we can effectively stabilize the market for crude oil, meaning lower, more stable prices for consumers at the pumps. All major studies agree that lifting the ban would decrease prices between four to twelve cents at the pump, translating into billions in energy savings for Americans over the next several years.

Lifting the export ban will ensure North Dakota gets a competitive world price for our crude oil which also means the U.S. could further increase domestic oil production. This, according to studies, would infuse billions into our economy, bolster state and federal government tax revenues, create hundreds of thousands of jobs nationwide, and reduce our nation’s trade deficit by billions.

Perhaps most important is the role lifting the ban would play in stabilizing global relations.

As Jack Gerard of the American Petroleum Institute put it, we have at our fingertips “a once-in-generation opportunity to show the world how energy abundance can be used as a positive force rather than as a tool to harm or to control nations as some still use their energy abundance.”

It is time for us to embrace that opportunity and we encourage you to write Congress and urge them to support our Congressional delegation in lifting the export ban.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and host of the Plain Talk Podcast which you can subscribe to by clicking here.

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