Sen. Murkowski: U.S. sanctioning itself by lifting sanctions against Iranian oil
Lisa Murkowski, the chairwoman of the U.S. Senate Committee for Energy & Natural resources, and a Senator in Alaska, has today said it will start working on a legislation to repeal the U.S. oil export ban.
Speaking during the opening session of the IHS CERAweek in Houston, she today used the opportunity to say that the fact that the U.S. is planning to lift the sanctions on Iranian oil export, means that the U.S., with its 40 years oil domestic crude oil export ban, is imposing sanctions against itself.
Murkowski, quoting a report which says a deal with Iran could bring a million barrels of crude oil per day to the international market, said: “To me, this equates to a sanctions regime against ourselves. It hurts American producers, who have to sell oil at a significant discount to Brent, and it hurts American consumers, whose prices at the pump are higher than they would otherwise be.”
At the opening plenary session hosted by Daniel Yergin, Vice Chairman IHS, Founder CERA, Murkowski said: “We should not lift sanctions on Iranian oil while keeping sanctions on American oil. It makes no sense.”
Export ban to be revoked?
Announcing her initiative to revoke the U.S. crude export ban, she said: “I am announcing today – right here, right now – that I plan to introduce a bill that fully repeals our nation’s outdated export ban, while still preserving the emergency authority of the President.”
Murkowski has also called for President Obama to use his executive power to make exemptions, allowing export to the U.S. allies in the world.
“While we work on legislation to repeal the oil export ban, I want to note that current law allows the President to make “exemptions” from the ban for a whole range of reasons – the country of destination, the purpose of the export, and more.”
“Nothing prevents America’s trading partners from asking for exemptions. One already exists for Canada and you’ve seen an effort to move toward granting the same status to Mexico.”
“I want to note that current law allows the President to make “exemptions” from the ban”
“Why stop there? Why not members of NATO, such as Italy, which relies on Libya; Poland, which relies on Russia; or the enormous refining complex in the Netherlands, which serves the European continent and the world? Why not our traditional energy partners in Asia, such as South Korea, Japan, and even India?,” Murkowski said.
“America has entered an era of energy abundance. Imports are down, and so are prices. We are on the verge of being able to help our allies and trading partners with our energy – instead of competing with them for supply from others,” Murkowski said.
Offshore Energy Today Staff