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Pallone Calls on President Biden to Halt Crude Oil Exports to Help Reduce Domestic Prices at the Pump

Jun 30, 2022
Press Release

Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) today urged President Biden to halt crude oil exports to increase the domestic supply of oil available to U.S. refiners and help reduce prices at the pump here at home. In a letter today, Pallone thanked the President for his numerous efforts to address the impact of rising fuel prices on American families and urged him to restore a ban on the export of crude oil.   

In 2015, Republicans successfully pushed through Congress a repeal of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act’s statutory crude oil export ban that had protected U.S. refiners and consumers for over 40 years. As the Ranking Member of the Committee, Pallone warned this move could harm U.S. energy security and economic well-being while also increasing prices at the pump. At the time, Committee Democrats successfully preserved the President’s ability to impose restrictions on exports for up to one year if the President declares a national emergency, or if crude oil exports have resulted in sustained high prices and those increases are likely to cause adverse effects on domestic employment.

“I believe that our current circumstances meet the requirements of the law with respect to reimposing export restrictions on U.S. crude oil,” Pallone wrote in his letter to President Biden. “Stopping crude oil exports would increase the domestic supply of oil available to U.S. refiners and would consequently help reduce prices at the pump here at home. I, therefore, urge you to exercise your authority to halt the export of U.S. crude oil, except for those exports that directly help Ukraine and other U.S. allies weather the effects of Russian aggression.” 

The United States is the largest producer of oil in the world, and domestic oil production has increased 16 percent since President Biden’s first full month in office. However, Pallone pointed out that instead of refining that crude oil at home for domestic use, the United States is exporting near record-amounts of oil to other countries.  

“As expected, unrestricted crude oil exports have increased profits for fossil fuel producers each year to the detriment of domestic refining investments and lower prices for consumers. Taking action to restrict exports could provide real relief to Americans,” Pallone continued in his letter.

Pallone wrote that the repeal of the export ban has only served to benefit oil companies and refiners in countries with lower environmental and labor standards. Between January 2017 and January 2021, the United States experienced a net loss of 12 refineries, with half those losses coming before declaration of the COVID-19 pandemic emergency.  

“The Trump Administration failed to timely address those closures and the American people are unfortunately paying for that inaction,” Pallone continued in his letter.  

The full text of the letter is available here.