U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski is planning to reveal to reverse the current US oil export ban.
According to a report by Reuters, Murkowski has said she will unveil a bill next week to reverse the U.S. oil export ban in an effort to build support for killing the 1970s-era restriction that drillers say threatens to choke the domestic energy boom.
Murkowski is the Republican chairwoman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and has admitted that while she plans to push her bill forward she is not certain of support and votes from her committee.
“I am going to be looking for every opportunity we might have to advance it,” Murkowski said in a press conference, adding that the bill will be a “great talking opportunity at a minimum.”
According to Reuters, the legislation, which faces opposition from Democrats including Ed Markey and Robert Menendez, could eventually take the form of a free-standing measure or as an amendment to another wider bill on trade or another issue.
If the bill is not fully successful Murkowski may instead opt to push the current Obama administration to “use tools they have at their disposal,” to relax the ban, Murkowski said.
It was at the end of last year that the U.S. Commerce Department cracked open oil exports by issuing guidelines to energy companies on what kind of minimally processed light crude called condensate they can export under the ban. But oil producers want the Congress and the administration to fully repeal the trade restriction, according to Reuters.
Oil producers are claiming that without reversing the ban there will be a building glut of U.S. light crude which could potentially choke off the drilling boom of the last five years which would then lead to thousands of people being forced out of work with a knock on effect on the economy.
According to Reuters, Murkowski has been one of the biggest supporters of reversing the ban Congress passed in 1975 after the Arab oil embargo led to fears of energy shortages. She tried to add an amendment to reverse the ban to the Senate’s bill to review any deal with Iran over its nuclear program, but the measure was rejected.
This is not the only bill that Murkowski is pushing at the moment as she has also introduced 17 other bills elating to energy issues which she hopes will help to improve and strengthen the power grid in the US.