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API: GAO report reaffirms economic benefits of crude exports

Zachary Cikanek | | 202.682.8114

WASHINGTON, October 20, 2014 ─ This morning’s report from federal auditors at the Government Accountability Office (GAO) confirms the findings of numerous studies showing that removing export barriers for U.S. crude oil could incentivize higher domestic production, create more jobs, lower the trade deficit, and put downward pressure on gasoline prices.

“The U.S. is now an energy superpower, but our trade policies remain stuck in the 1970s,” said API Chief Economist John Felmy. “The GAO report simply confirms what economists like Daniel Yergin and Larry Summers have been saying for months, which is that American consumers and workers will be among the first to benefit if we lift restrictions on crude exports.

“America is the world’s largest producer of natural gas and projected leader in oil, thanks to innovations in hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling. Allowing free trade in energy will mean more jobs, downward pressure on fuel costs, and can further reduce the impact of global unrest on oil markets. U.S. energy production is already having a major impact on world markets, and if policymakers embrace free trade, that influence will continue to grow in a way that benefits our economy.”

API is the only national trade association representing all facets of the oil and natural gas industry, which supports 9.8 million U.S. jobs and 8 percent of the U.S. economy. API’s more than 600 members include large integrated companies, as well as exploration and production, refining, marketing, pipeline, and marine businesses, and service and supply firms. They provide most of the nation’s energy and are backed by a growing grassroots movement of more than 20 million Americans.