7 January 2014

Contact: Steve Kretzmann, Oil Change International, steve [at] priceofoil [dot] org

Climate, Consumers, and Communities All at Risk
If Crude Oil Export Ban is Lifted

WASHINGTON, DC — Reacting to statements from various industry sources and Senator Lisa Murkowski regarding lifting the crude oil export ban, Oil Change International Executive Director Stephen Kretzmann said the following today:

Lifting the crude oil export ban is a terrible idea that endangers our communities, consumers, and the climate. Exporting US crude oil will immediately raise the price of oil in North America, raise profits for Big Oil, and thus increase dangerous drilling in our backyards and on our public lands. More drilling will mean more pipeline spills, more rail car explosions, and more poisoned land and water.

Only climate deniers such as the oil industry and their paid Representatives on Capitol Hill would propose lifting the crude oil export ban. As the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the International Energy Agency warn, at least two thirds of existing proven global fossil fuel reserves need to be left in the ground. Much of the resource that would be unlocked by lifting the crude export ban is in fact still unproven. Lifting the oil export ban is simply climate denial in a new, and very dangerous, form.

The United States must not export its crude oil but should instead play a leading role in international efforts to stop new exploration for oil, coal, and gas that we cannot afford to burn, and to keep fossil fuels in the ground.


1. As even advocates of removing the ban readily admit, lifting the export ban will lead to increased profits for the industry, and increased drilling. According to the Council on Foreign Relations: “Letting drillers reap extra profits from selling crude oil overseas, if the market dictates, would provide greater incentives for drilling, stimulating new supply.” (

2. Senator Robert Menendez has already warned of the impacts of lifting the export ban on American consumers: “[T]he world price of oil (otherwise known as the Brent crude price) is currently about $110 per barrel, while the American price is about $97 per barrel. The threshold question then, is why would we want to export oil and raise American oil prices to match the world’s oil price? Big Oil clearly wants to pad their record profits and fetch a higher price for their oil. But considering that the five largest publicly traded oil companies made $118 billion in profits last year, I think they are doing just fine. I believe we should be more worried about the bottom line for American families.” (

Oil Change International published a comprehensive report on the need to maintain the crude export ban In October 2013. Available here: