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IHS: Lifting export restrictions on US crude oil would be smart move

June 03, 2014
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Lifting the restrictions on U.S. crude oil exports would be a wise move, says market and economic information provider IHS. Conducting a study on the matter, the company found that removing export restrictions from the 1970s would stimulate domestic oil production, cause gasoline prices to drop and support almost one million additional jobs.

What's more, taking down the restrictions would increase U.S. household income, gross domestic product (GDP) and government revenues. According to the study, the increase in domestic oil production after lifting the ban and allowing free trade would be so significant that it would remove about $67 billion on average from the U.S. oil import bill per year.

Furthermore, a green light to crude oil exports does not mean a rise in gasoline prices. On the contrary, additional crude oil suppliers are currently discouraged from joining the market -- a policy responsible for higher gasoline prices. Lifting the export ban would actually bring prices down by an annual average of eight cents per gallon, as it would allow for additional crude oil supply, the study demonstrates.

Also, the increased economic activity a rise in crude production entails would support an average of 394,000 additional jobs between 2016 and 2030, with highs of 811,000 extra jobs supported in 2017 and a peak of 964,000 jobs in 2018. Economic activity would be boosted in all states, IHS noted, as a quarter of the additional jobs are in states which do not produce crude oil.

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