Despite opposition from both the Obama administration and congressional Democrats, the bill has the support of House GOP Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), who is seen as the leading candidate to replace departing Speaker John Boehner (R-OH).
The ban on crude oil exports became law in 1975 in response to the Arab oil embargo. Barton said the export ban is a relic of the past that is now harming the U.S. economy.
With greater use of fracking technologies to tap into previously inaccessible reserves, the U.S. is now one of the leading producers of oil in the world. Barton’s bill said that’s benefiting U.S. workers and lowering oil prices at the pump.
It appeared that lifting the ban on exports had broad bipartisan support, but recent reports suggest congressional Democrats won’t consider lifting the ban unless the bill also takes steps to address climate change.
The bill’s supporters said lifting the ban on oil exports would likely boost the nation’s energy production, create jobs, lower gas prices, increase energy security, and weaken countries such as Iran and Russia, which use oil as a political weapon.