Oil Export Ban Puts Iran On Better Footing Than U.S.

by George Kirkpatrick

Now that the Iran nuclear deal has passed the Persian nation will once again be allowed to sell its oil anywhere in the world. But under 1970s-era self-imposed sanctions, the United States won’t enjoy the same privileges.

Something is terribly wrong with this picture—and Congress needs to set it straight.

Sanctions on Iranian oil succeeded in producing economic harm and driving up unemployment. As a result, that country came to the negotiating table.

While the U.S. economy is clearly stronger than Iran’s, sanctions here also hurt our economy and suppress employment. Lifting the crude oil export ban would have a massively beneficial impact on the U.S. economy and on Americans’ pocketbook. The following figures are from research groups that track the economic impact of energy.

Lifting the ban on crude oil exports could:

  • Reduce consumer fuel costs by up to $5.8 billion;
  • Support an additional 300,000 jobs;
  • Increase government revenue via taxes by $13.5 billion;
  • Reduce the U.S. trade deficit by $22 billion.

Today the crude oil ban, law that most Americans don’t know exists, hurts American business and gives our energy competitors like Iran an unfair advantage. Elimination of the ban would allow American energy businesses to compete fairly in world energy markets and provide them the confidence and resources they need to increase jobs.

Congressional leaders on both sides of the aisle trumpet the value of free trade and free markets. The crude oil export ban has not made sense to U.S. interests for years. Congress should lift sanctions on U.S. oil exports now.

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