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Oct 5, 2014

Why should we lift the US oil export ban?

Why should we lift the US oil export ban?  The short answer is that we have a mismatch between refineries in Louisiana and the crude from fracking shale.  The refineries are built to handle heavy crude from Latin America.  The crude from shale is very light crude, which means it has a very different chemical composition than heavy crude.  Heavy crude refineries can't refine light crude.  So why not modify our existing refineries to handle light crude?  It would be cheaper to build a new refinery. However, the environmental reviews required make building a new refinery prohibitively expensive. There's also the Jones Act, which requires all shipping from one US port to another be on US flag ships with US crews. This makes moving the light crude from Louisiana, where all the pipelines go, to New Jersey, where there are some light crude refineries, too expensive to be worth it. Global warming alarmists don't want more oil produced, so they will fight any change in any of these laws and regulations. Remember, the Keystone pipeline was fought because of its potential contribution to global warming. Speaking of Keystone, the Louisiana refineries would be able to refine the very heavy Canadian crude from the Keystone pipeline easily.