Why Ban Crude Oil Exports?

The ban on crude oil exports was first enacted through the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975 in response to the Arab oil embargo of 1973. Now, for the first time in decades, Congress is working to repeal the ban. The U.S. House of Representatives already voted to lift the ban earlier this year in October and now, the Senate is only a few votes away from passing the bill.

Repealing the 40 year ban on crude oil exports not only delays our nations very real efforts to transition to a low carbon economy, but will increase the demand for fuels that contribute to carbon emissions (e.g., coal) and energy production that endanger our waterways (e.g., fracking). This also means increased need for crude oil transportation in order to reach coastal ports that ship our oil across seas. Waterkeeper Alliance just released a report called Deadly CrossingsDeadly Crossings pointing to the dangers crude oil transportation by rail poses to our communities and our waterways.

To top it all off, Congress is attempting to pass this bill during one of the most important weeks for climate change throughout the year – the annual United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Paris (or COP21) – where the latest climate science reports say we need to leave as much carbon in the ground as possible.

Take Action Now!

The ban on crude oil exports was first enacted in 1975 in response to the Arab oil embargo of 1973. Now, for the first time in decades, Congress is working to repeal the ban. The U.S. House of Representatives already voted to lift the ban earlier this year in October and now, the Senate is only a few votes away from passing the bill.

Why should you care? Repealing the 40 year ban on crude oil exports not only delays our nation’s very real efforts to transition to a low carbon economy, but will increase the demand for fuels that contribute to carbon emissions (e.g., coal) and endanger our waterways (e.g., fracking and increased extraction of Bakken oil share and Canadian tar sands). This also means increased need for crude oil transportation over rail in order to reach coastal ports that ship our oil across seas,, and potentially across our Great Lakes (rumors abound that US Oil wants to start shipping Bakken oil from Great Lakes ports). The Waterkeeper Alliance just released a report called Deadly Crossings that points to the dangers of crude oil transportation by rail poses to our communities and our waterways. We are making some headway on these safety concerns, thanks to efforts by our own Senator Tammy Baldwin, who was able to get some limited safety and disclosure requirements into the Transportation Bill.

To top it all off, Congress is attempting to pass this bill during one of the most important weeks for climate change throughout the year – the annual United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Paris (or COP21) – where the latest climate science reports say we need to leave as much carbon in the ground as possible.

Take action now with our friends from Center for Biological Diversity and tell and urge Congress to oppose lifting the crude oil export ban!