While answering questions about the ban on U.S. oil exports, Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) twice referred to Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump as the nation’s next president.
Markey, a member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, said during a discussion this morning on “The Impact of the Ban on Crude Oil Exports” hosted by National Journal that a majority of the public does not want Congress to lift the ban on U.S. oil exports.
“It runs contrary to common sense that we export and somehow or other the price here goes down, OK? It’s just Economics 101 turned on its head,” he said.
Markey was asked if Congress should allow oil exports but impose restrictions if consumers are harmed economically.
“I see, so then in 2018 I just assume that President Trump is just going to re-slap back on the restrictions and I can appreciate that approach, OK, and there may be many in this room that believe that would be a good place to propose the confidence that, in fact, there would be a re-imposition, but I’m not of that school of thought,” he said.
“I want myself to retain the authority – and, again, there is sufficient discretion that any president would have, including President Trump, to do oil swaps, to doing it with Mexico right now, to do certain limited things if it is necessary, but to do more than that I think would be a big mistake,” he added.
Markey also said oil and gas companies fear wind and solar technology.
“The oil industry wants to keep their tax breaks. The fossil fuel industry wants to keep their tax breaks and make sure that the other tax breaks die because ultimately those newer technologies, wind and solar, and that whole panoply of new issues is in fact what they fear the most, it’s the true competition in the marketplace,” he said.
John Hoeven (R-N.D.), a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, said that lifting the ban would benefit consumers.
“When there’s more supply globally, that puts downward pressure on oil prices and hence downward pressure on gas prices,” he said. Hoeven added the American people do not want the country dependent on OPEC.
In May, Sens. Hoeven, 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.
“The 1970s-era ban on exporting American crude oil is as outdated as the typewriters on which the policy was written. It’s past time for an upgrade,” said Heitkamp.
“Senator Murkowski and I are working to change the trajectory – by doing away with this nonsensical, out-of-date ban on U.S. crude exports, we can fully harness our resources here at home, level the playing field in the global energy market, and support our energy security by making sure our allies get energy resources from us instead of volatile regions.”
Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), the chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, recently said he decided to take the Keystone XL pipeline off the table as part of the committee’s energy bill.
“One of the things I’m actively working against is what I call poison pills by one side or the other — so yes, of course I support Keystone. We’ve had a number of votes on that, but I know that’s not going to fly,” Upton said.
Hoeven predicted that the Keystone pipeline would ultimately be approved.
“Remember in the Congress we’ve passed it with 62 votes, I mean, this is something supported by the American people, by the Congress and in the long term I think that means we’ll get it – it’s just more of a question of when,” he said.