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Barrasso Gets Agreement To Lift Oil Export Ban


As a part of a bill to keep the government funded lawmakers have struck a bipartisan deal that lifts an oil export ban that Wyoming Senator John Barrasso has been pushing. It’s been four decades since U.S. energy companies could sell crude oil overseas. Barrasso said today that the compromise is a huge win for Republicans. 

“We have a number of our friends and allies around the world who want to buy product from us rather than Iran, rather than from Russia, and I think it’s important to make American energy available to our friends an dallies, not just crude oil, but natural gas, and we’re still exporting a lot of coal, use all of that to undermine our enemies, and to help to prop up our friends.”

Barrasso thinks it could mean millions, although some economists are skeptical. The legislation does allow the president to halt exports for a year in the case of national emergency.

In exchange for ending the ban, Democrats won some major concessions. They were able to extend tax credits seen as vital to the wind and solar industries, and they blocked GOP efforts to unwind new regulations on coal-fired power plants and on waterways on people’s farms. They also extended a fund for three years that’s focused on conservation. The legislation still needs to pass both chambers of Congress and be signed by the president, which is expected in the coming days.

Based on Capitol Hill, Matt Laslo is a reporter who has been covering campaigns and every aspect of federal policy since 2006. While he has filed stories for NPR and more than 40 of its affiliates, he has also written for Rolling Stone, The Atlantic, Campaigns and Elections Magazine, The Daily Beast, The Chattanooga Times Free Press, The Guardian, The Omaha World-Herald, VICE News and Washingtonian Magazine.
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