HOUSTON -- America has a golden opportunity with its surging oil production that should not be squandered, Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) said in her keynote address at the 33rd annual IHS CERAWeek in Houston.
The U.S. needs to reorient its energy policies for a new century, including allowing export of condensate and crude oil, she said. She offered a roadmap to allow this, and said if the president doesn’t act, she is prepared to introduce legislation.
The senator has already taken several actions. Last year she released an energy white paper, Energy 20/20 , on the future of American energy policy. It covered a wide array of policies and topics. She also released three related white papers on LNG, broader energy exports and electric reliability. She intends to release another one soon on the link between energy and water.
Now, she is doing more. In a year of midterm elections and congressional inaction, Murkowski said she thinks President Obama must act. “Legislation may be required if the president is unwilling to lead on this issue – and I am fully prepared to go down that route if necessary – but let there be no doubt that there is a clear path forward here.”
In January she released a white paper calling for exports. “I laid out the case for why we need to renovate the architecture of the U.S. energy trade. We have substantial opportunities for exports of coal, petroleum products, natural gas, natural gas liquids, renewable technology, nuclear technology and even -- as you all well know -- crude oil.
“I have called for lifting the de facto prohibition on crude oil exports as a pre-emptive measure. We need to lift it to prevent future losses of production and jobs when our trade restrictions inevitably collide with the surge in light tight oil and condensate production we are seeing in places like the Eagle Ford. The conversation I hoped to help frame with my white paper, A Signal to the World , is well underway.”
This is the year that think tanks and research institutions examine the possibility of crude exports and the potential ramifications, Murkowski said. “Working groups are assembling, writing papers, crunching numbers. And that’s a good thing.”
“The economics are clear: exports stimulate production, which increases global oil supply, which decreases global oil prices, which decreases global petroleum product prices. In other words, all things being