Sean Hackbarth Sean Hackbarth
Senior Editor, Digital Content, U.S. Chamber of Commerce


April 17, 2017


The U.S. oil export boom is an example that policy matters.

In December 2015, after 40 years, American oil was allowed to be exported. Companies quickly got to work, and they haven’t looked back.

Energy Information Administration data show that 746,000 barrels a day of oil were exported in January 2017.

Chart: U.S. oil exports

Source: Energy Information Administration.

The record pace continues, CNBC reported in March:

The U.S. last week sent more than 1 million barrels a day of crude out of the country, the third biggest export week ever, and double the average amount exported in 2016. It is also the third time this year that U.S. exports exceeded a million barrels a day, an industry record.

Before the restrictions, 92% of oil exports went to Canada which was exempt from the export ban. But in 2016 U.S. crude oil went to 26 different countries.

By changing the law, new markets opened to American oil. This incentivized companies to invest in domestic production, which in turn, supports workers who produce and transport oil. There are over 500,000 jobs in the oil and petroleum industry according to an Energy Department report. Some of these jobs wouldn’t exist if it the export ban hadn’t been lifted.

It’s a reminder that when it comes to supporting jobs and our economy, good policy out of Washington makes a difference. It's why the U.S. Chamber supported lifting the ban. Here are the Congressmen and Senators who voted in 2015 to make this happen.

About the authors

Sean Hackbarth

Sean Hackbarth

Sean writes about public policies affecting businesses including energy, health care, and regulations. When not battling those making it harder for free enterprise to succeed, he raves about all things Wisconsin (his home state) and religiously follows the Green Bay Packers.

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