Oil group: Ban on export of domestic crude would be ‘gift to OPEC’

A trade group representing U.S. oil companies said Monday that a proposal by U.S. lawmakers to forbid export of domestic crude oil would be a “gift to OPEC and Putin.”

John Kilduff, vice president of the National Association of Manufacturers, said it was “unfair” that the state of New York wants to ban the transportation of oil from the region without first considering lifting a decades-old ban on crude oil exports.

The state is trying to force up to 20,000 barrels of new pipeline capacity into the Marcellus Shale region east of the Adirondacks, as well as separate transmission lines and sending oil by rail from the region to eastern Canada. But it must obtain permission from Washington to do so, despite state and federal laws that allow the Commerce Department to negotiate with states and allow states to set or limit rules on domestic oil transportation.

In other words, Kilduff said New York is not asking Washington to lift the trade restrictions for oil, but the Trump administration has interpreted the 1991 Energy Policy and Conservation Act to permit all oil imports.

The protest by the oil industry comes at a time when the Trump administration is accelerating export authorization, approving dozens of applications over the last year. Meanwhile, the State Department is reviewing 19 other applications to export foreign crude oil.

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