Reps. Barton and Cuellar: The Most Substantial Energy Policy in a Generation
Reps. Barton (R-TX) and Cuellar (D-TX) commend the House for passing H.R. 2029, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, which includes lifting the ban on crude oil exports. Barton and Cuellar have worked in a bipartisan and bicameral capacity to carry this crucial policy fix across the finish line. At a time when legislators so rarely cross the aisle figuratively or the floor of the Capitol rotunda to the other chamber physically, Barton and Cuellar did both and demonstrated the power of Congress to work for the benefit of all Americans.
Barton introduced legislation (H.R. 702) to lift the antiquated ban on crude exports in February; he also introduced the same bill in the previous Congress. Support for this bill grew very quickly and gained the approval of leadership and key stakeholders. In October, the House passed H.R. 702. Since passage, both Reps. Barton and Cuellar have worked to include legislation to lift the ban in any major bill that came to the house floor. The window finally opened in the omnibus last week as both Barton and Cuellar worked with colleagues in the House and Senate for inclusion.
“This represents the most substantial energy policy enacted in a generation,” stated Barton. “Of the remaining scarcity energy policies from the 1970s, lifting the ban on exports was the last vestige of unnecessary government overreach from the time. We have given all Americans a big Christmas present- one that will provide hundreds of thousands of jobs, bolster our economy, and keep the energy revolution in America alive and well.”
“The inclusion of a repeal of the crude oil export ban in the omnibus appropriations package is a key step toward strengthening the U.S. economy,” Congressman Cuellar said. “The crude oil export ban comes from a time of oil scarcity when Americans waited in gas lines to fill up their tanks. But today, the resurgence of the domestic oil industry has made this ban a hindrance to economic prosperity. As the Representative for the active Eagle Ford Shale, I understand the positive impacts lifting this ban will have in my district and across the country. Lifting this ban will create hundreds of thousands of jobs, increase our GDP by $134 billion, raise government revenues by $29 billion and lower gas prices by up to 12 cents. Repealing this ban will also enhance our national security by allowing the U.S. to compete against OPEC and limit Russia and Iran’s hold on the global oil market. I would like to thank Congressman Barton for his leadership and for his commitment to this important cause.”
Barton added, “Lifting the ban will have an immediate impact on all Texans. As rig counts have been down, we must keep the energy boom alive. At a time of global unrest, energy security is one of the surest ways to maintain and grow our influence in volatile areas around the world. Today, the American people won and with US crude on the world market, the world is a better place.”