Why the World Should Brace for a Future U.S. Oil Embargo

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U.S. policymakers are divided over what to do with the glut of domestic oil. Both sides of the debate craft their rhetoric around economic issues, though a report from a Washington think tank with close ties to the Obama administration said that misses the broader point.

“The United States should accept the reality of energy interdependence, take steps to decrease domestic consumption and diversify supplies, facilitate broader energy exports, and more deeply and creatively integrate energy security into strategic policy and military planning,” a report from the Center for a New American Security said.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration said crude oil production for the week ending January 31 was 8.04 million barrels per day, a 15 percent increase from the same time last year. That has lead many political leaders to say now is the time to reverse the ban on crude oil exports enacted in the wake of the Arab oil embargo in the 1970s.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, ranking member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, said reversing the ban is “critical” for American consumers.

“The International Energy Agency has warned that maintaining the ban may actually result in shut-in production, which would be to the detriment of the nation’s livelihood,” Murkowski said. “Lifting the ban is about increasing domestic production and creating jobs.”

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