U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources approved Thursday the Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2015, and Offshore Production and National Security Act (OPENS), which would ensure Alaska and other coastal states receive a fair share of the revenue from oil and gas activity off their shores.
The bill would also lift the ban on exporting most U.S. crude oil.
American Petroleum Institute (API) has praised the new energy bills saying it will promote U.S. energy leadership by lifting a 70s-era ban on crude exports, streamlining the approval process for exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG), accelerating infrastructure improvements, training workers, and expanding offshore opportunities for coastal regions.
API previously urged the lawmakers to lift the outdated U.S. crude oil exports ban saying that crude exports could generate immediate and long-lasting benefits for the U.S.
“Free trade in energy will allow America to harness the full economic opportunities created by our energy revolution,” said API Executive Vice President Louis Finkel. “America is now the world’s largest natural gas producer, and our LNG exports will promote stronger domestic energy production, create more American jobs, and protect the security of the U.S. and its allies.”
“In terms of oil, study after study has shown that the outdated export ban only harms America’s ability to compete with other suppliers, like Iran and Russia. It’s ironic that the U.S. would strike a deal to allow Iranian crude onto the global market while refusing to give the same opportunity to American producers. Lifting the ban will put downward pressure on fuel costs, create jobs, and strengthen our position as a global energy superpower.”
API commented on the importance of the OPENS Act which will, according to the Institute, allow coastal regions to profit from offshore energy development.
“Every state that hosts oil and natural gas development off its shores should get a fair share of the revenue collected by the federal government,” said Finkel.
According to API, the bipartisan Energy Policy Modernization Act also includes strong provisions to help train U.S. workers for the next generation of energy jobs.
“As Congress moves forward, we hope that additional improvements can be made to accelerate investments in U.S. energy infrastructure and address broken policies, like the Renewable Fuel Standard,” Finkel added.
“Together, these two bills include vital components of any truly comprehensive energy strategy. The last major energy legislation was crafted in 2007, and the time has come to unlock the full economic and security benefits now available to U.S. consumers and workers. We urge the House and Senate to quickly send this important legislation to the president’s desk.”