Message to Congress - U.S. Crude Oil Exports

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.

Senator Mikulski,

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:

http://gcaptain.com/build-refinery-may-answer-u-s-crude-export-question/
and
http://gcaptain.com/conocophillips-wishes-come-true-come-demise-u-s-merchant-marine/

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,
Rob Almeida
954.850.4611

Comment below and let us know who you’ve reached out to about this issue.

[QUOTE=rob;152212]As a regulator, you have the power to create an environment which allows companies to invest billions into the U.S. economy.[/QUOTE]

It is a power which Babs has rarely if ever used to help the USMM. The closest she comes to the American mariner is spending weekends at the MEBA mansion in Easton. If she had the power or the slightest interest in the US economy and the USMM in particular she would have been fighting to ensure all US government cargoes were carried on US ships. She is one of the entrenched incumbents who remain in place because they will not change the status quo.

Fair enough, but if you live in a state where your representative or senator does give shit, then drop them a note.

[QUOTE=rob;152214]Fair enough, but if you live in a state where your representative or senator does give shit, then drop them a note.[/QUOTE]

have John and Mike send letters to Duncan Hunter and John Garimendi both in far off California…those two are genuinely real support for the US maritime industry and sitting on the House Transportation and Infrastructure’s Maritime and Coast Guard Subcommittee are in a position to actually do something about this. Remember, the power rests with committee chairs in the Congress. If you are not a ranking member you have little chance to get a bill introduced or amended in a way to really effect the outcome. Being only a vote does not shape legislation.

In fact John, I implore that you as the founder to gCaptain to request a sit down meeting with each of the esteemed Congressmen from your state. Do it for all of us unwashed ones here…please. Somebody must be our voice!

[QUOTE=rob;152214]… if you live in a state where your representative or senator does give shit, then drop them a note.[/QUOTE]

Along that line … have you ever noticed that the politicians beg for and accept money from anyplace and anyone but put up firewalls that prevent anyone except a constituent from “dropping a note” to their office.

I have found that you have to use an address in their constituency to get through that firewall. Of course no such gambit is required to give them campaign contributions.

[QUOTE=Steamer;152218]Along that line … have you ever noticed that the politicians beg for and accept money from anyplace and anyone but put up firewalls that prevent anyone except a constituent from “dropping a note” to their office.

I have found that you have to use an address in their constituency to get through that firewall. Of course no such gambit is required to give them campaign contributions.[/QUOTE]

yeah, isn’t that something? If a person mails a old fashioned paper letter to a Congressperson does it get scanned to see if it is postmarked from within the district? Does some “staffer” then shred all those contaminated and tainted letters before they could ever reach the eyes of their master? God forbid someone who’s not a constituent try to influence the decision of one of the esteemed members of such an honorbound institution!

[QUOTE=rob;152214]Fair enough, but if you live in a state where your representative or senator does give shit, then drop them a note.[/QUOTE]

let’s list those who we “think” actually give a shit

I have already listed

Duncan Hunter ® California 50th
John Garamendi (D) California 3rd

who else to add now? shouldn’t be those who only say they support the Jones Act like the members of the Congress from Louisiana but those who support it entirely for its own merits and for the nation

I myself will also add

Elijah Cummings (D) Maryland 7th