As prices soar, U.S. Congressional Democrats are pushing for a ban on exports of American oil to halt the export of any oil that is produced from or transported across US lands.
“This is American oil and it should benefit American consumers, not just Big Oil’s bottom line,” Edward Markey, a Massachusetts Democratic, said during a House Natural Resources Committee hearing in Washington today. “The oil companies and their Republican allies in Congress talk about drilling for more American energy, but their plan is really about more American energy exports.”
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A similar effort was made by Senator Ron Wyden (D) of Oregon, who tried to ban the export of refined products derived from crude carried by TransCanada's Keystone XL pipeline. Meanwhile, Republicans have urged President Obama to explore off the coasts of Virginia and Florida, and build the pipeline from Canada to oil refineries in Texas.
“The Keystone pipeline would set up the United States as a conduit to send Canadian oil to a foreign trade zone,” Markey said.
U.S. Senator Jon Tester (D) has also introduced legislation to bar the export of crude or refined oil carried from the Keystone pipeline in an effort to increase energy security. TransCanada has suggested that the decision to export oil from those refineries and producers would be up to pipeline customers.