I just sent this today to Senator Mikulski from Maryland. If you feel strongly about this issue, I would encourage you to plagiarize the below letter and drop an email to your representatives in Congress. Go to http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm or http://www.house.gov/ to find the appropriate contact details.
My business partners and I run the world’s top-visited news website focusing on the maritime and offshore industries; we reach about a half-million people per month. The potential opening of exports of U.S. crude oil is a topic of particular interest to our audience and has far-reaching implications to the United States, both positive and negative.
I had the opportunity this past week to speak with the CEO of ConocoPhillips who is campaigning hard to open the U.S. to unrestricted crude exports.
Given the likely vote on whether to lift current bans on U.S. oil exports, I would like to offer the following for your consideration:
The decision on whether or not to open the U.S. to unrestricted crude oil exports must take into consideration the impact on the entire domestic value chain associated with crude oil, which includes refineries and the potential implications to Jones Act shipping.
As a regulator, you have the power to create an environment which allows companies to invest billions into the U.S. economy. I believe it is critical that you help to put policy in place which allows U.S. industry to invest in either re-tooling existing refineries or build additional ones to handle the massive amounts of crude oil that is currently being produced in the U.S.
The fundamental issue is this: If there is doubt about how the U.S. is going to react with regard to U.S. crude exports, nobody will ever back a billion dollar investment plan to build a refinery (or refineries) in the U.S.
For the oil and gas industry, the easy answer would be to simply build a refinery in another country - one that is cheaper to both build an operate, however this scenario would cost the U.S. thousands and thousands of jobs and millions in tax revenues. Further, the U.S. maritime industry - which ships domestic crude up and down the coast on U.S.-built (Jones Act) ships - could be derailed by foreign flagged ships that take our crude, refine it, then sell it back to us at a higher price.
This is not a good deal for the U.S. no matter what Ryan Lance or the API says - they have everything to gain from crude oil exports because not only are they benefitting from the expansion of their businesses, they are winning on the trading end of things.
I’ve written a few articles on the subject in case you would like to hear more. Please see:
My wife and I are both U.S. Naval Academy grads and live in Annapolis. I would be happy to meet with you or a staff member in person to further discuss the implications of such a vote if you would find it beneficial.
All the best,
Comment below and let us know who you’ve reached out to about this issue.