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Cross-Currents: Iranian Oil and the U.S. Export Ban

Sailors from the USS Rushmore's (LSD 47) visit, board, search and seizure team watch the sun rise over shipping and Iraqi oil platforms in the Persian Gulf on July 20, 2007.  Rushmore is currently conducting maritime operations around Iraq's Al Basrah and Khawr Al Amaya oil platforms.  DoD photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Drew Williams, U.S. Navy.  (Released)

Sailors from the USS Rushmore’s (LSD 47) visit, board, search and seizure team watch the sun rise over shipping and Iraqi oil platforms in the Persian Gulf on July 20, 2007. Rushmore is currently conducting maritime operations around Iraq’s Al Basrah and Khawr Al Amaya oil platforms. DoD photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Drew Williams, U.S. Navy. (Released)

With the next deadline approaching in the multiparty talks around Iran’s nuclear program, Sen. Murkowski, chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, released a new report further justifying a lift of the U.S. crude oil export ban.

 “PESA strongly supports lifting the ban on crude oil exports to increase jobs, lower gas prices and bolster our national security,” said PESA President Leslie Beyer.

The report concludes, “The specter of an agreement with Iran over its nuclear program has brought to the fore a great geopolitical irony: lifting sanctions will boost Iranian oil exports at a time when federal law and regulations generally prohibit American oil exports. In the absence of congressional action or the use of existing authorities by the President, such a shift in would grant Iranian oil producers access to global markets but deny it to American producers. When those sanctions are lifted, the rise in global supply will put downward pressure on global prices. The net effect will be to negatively impact oil production in the United States, the domestic benchmarks for which are discounted from the global benchmark. In short, the general prohibition on exporting domestic crude oil amounts to a de facto sanctions regime against U.S. producers. Lifting sanctions against Iran without also lifting the ban on U.S. exports will allow Iran to compete in markets largely inaccessible to American companies.”

Read the full report.

Reuters Reports: End oil export ban, or face competition from Iran: U.S. senator

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