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Lifting the Ban, Cooking the Climate
The Climate Impact of Lifting the Crude Oil Export Ban
March 2014

The U.S. oil industry’s biggest players, including ExxonMobil and the American Petroleum Institute, are calling for an end to the U.S. ban on crude oil exports that has been in place for more than four decades since the 1973 Arab oil embargo. Their reasons are clear, as lifting the ban would boost profits by enabling companies to sell American oil at higher global market prices.

What few have considered, however, are the climate impacts that would result from ending the ban. Allowing U.S. crude oil

In 2009, President Obama made a commitment to reduce U.S. greenhouse gases by 17 percent by 2020.  The Obama administration put this forward as the U.S. share of a global effort to limit climate change to no more than two degrees Celsius – the target scientists tell us may be safe.  Achieving this target, which has been unanimously agreed on a global level, is central to the success of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, announced in June of last year.

It is therefore shocking to realize that the State Department completely failed to take this target into account when evaluating the

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