The question of whether the ban on U.S. oil exports should be lifted has divided industry opinions for a long time, but in recent months the debate has resurfaced.

With excess supply in the domestic market, hundreds of oil companies are calling for freer crude oil exports that would allow them to find new markets for their production. Meanwhile, refiners argue that lifting crude oil export restrictions would damage their business. At the moment, the biggest advantage that U.S. refiners and petrochemical producers have is their access to cheap crude and other feedstocks. But if crude is exported refiners would have to purchase it at market prices, the Wall Street Journal reported.

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In a bid to prevent the potential lifting of the ban, a new coalition of independent refiners has been formed with the intention to advocate the economic benefits of keeping U.S. crude within the country. The coalition is called CRUDE, or Consumers and Refiners United for Domestic Energy, and includes Dallas-based Alon USA Energy Inc., New Jersey's PBF Energy, Delta Air Lines subsidiary Monroe Energy and Philadelphia Energy Services.

According to CRUDE, the United States has a great opportunity to achieve full energy independence and security. The coalition argues that allowing crude oil exports would be harmful to the industry and is not in the best interest of the country, Reuters reported.