Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) said America would be the last country in the world with a ban on oil exports if it lifts the sanctions on Iranian oil.
“One of the challenges we face certainly is we are going to pass on an $18 trillion debt, growing perhaps to $25 trillion over the next 10 years, that’s the bad the news right now on the balance sheet for our nation,” Daines, a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, said at the Bipartisan Policy Center. “The good news is we have the ability and the opportunity to pass on a United States of America that is the leader in global energy and moving from the scarcity mentality from the 1970s that created the 55 miles per hour speed limit.”
Daines, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, said “there’s an abundance of energy in the United States and we have this ability from a geopolitical viewpoint now to make the world more secure as well as grow our economy.”
He said the U.S. is in a position to lead with an “all of the above” energy policy.
“Based on what seems to be going on with the debate with Iran, think about this contrast. The sanctions in Iran, their oil export ban is likely to get lifted here in the near term and the last country in the world that has a ban on oil exports will be the United States of America,” Daines said.
“The studies show that prices at the pump actually will go down because you will start creating more of an abundance of energy and we’re sitting on not only oil, it’s natural gas, it’s coal, it’s wild, it’s hydro, it’s solar, we truly have the ability to lead with this all-of-the-above energy portfolio,” he added.
Daines warned that the U.S. should not follow Germany’s lead on energy policy.
“They swung the pendulum hard and removed nuclear energy from their portfolio rather than thinking thoughtfully about an all-of-the-above energy portfolio,” he said. “I think we need to have that same thoughtful debate in the United States Senate.”
Daines expressed concern that there is an attempt to remove coal from the U.S. energy portfolio.
“We need to work toward clean coal technologies but lets allow that to be part of the debate,” he said. “Germany is now building coal-fired plants.”
Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) introduced the Energy Supply and Distribution Act of 2015, which would end the ban on crude oil exports.
“America’s energy landscape has changed dramatically since the export ban was put in place in the 1970s. We have moved from energy scarcity to energy abundance. Unfortunately, our energy policies have not kept pace,” Murkowski said in a statement about the bill. “This legislation builds from bipartisan ideas, linking energy security and infrastructure to expanding exports and helping our allies. Our nation has an opportunity to embrace its role as a global energy powerhouse, sending a signal to the world that we are open for business and will stand by our friends in need.”