This article first appeared at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, November 17, 2014:
Alaskan Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski, soon to chair the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, is already setting the table for a serious conversation about getting rid of at least one archaic law dating back to the mid-1970s: the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975.
That law bans the export of crude oil (with some minor exceptions) and could endanger the oil shale boom as a result. Said Murkowski:
The price American drivers pay for gasoline at their local station is linked to the price of oil set by the global market.
Exporting U.S. oil to our friends and allies will not raise gasoline prices here at home and should, in fact, help drive down prices.
As the price of crude oil drops, it increases the chances that smaller marginal crude oil producers will be forced to close unless they are allowed to find buyers outside the United States willing to pay more for their product. One of the bottlenecks has already been opened: