US House of Representatives committee clears oil export bill

A US House of Representatives bill to repeal the country’s longstanding oil-export ban took another stride on its collision course with the White House on Thursday as it cleared the House’s Energy and Commerce committee, according to Reuters.

This was the full committee passing the bill a week after one of its subcommittees (Energy and Power) had done so. Next up in the chain is the full House of Representatives where, with a Republican majority, it should also carry.

Then will come the roadblock of the White House because on Tuesday this week a spokesman for the Obama administration said it opposes a blanket lifting of the 40-year-old ban. It prefers instead a selective lifting as per an earlier Commerce Department recommendation.

The ban was originally imposed in reaction to an embargo by Arab countries in the mid-1970s.

Shipowners and oil producers could be in for a bonanza if the bill clears.

Donal Scully

With 28 years experience writing and editing for newspapers in the UK and Hong Kong, Donal is now based in California from where he covers the Americas for Splash as well as ensuring the site is loaded through the Western Hemisphere timezone.
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