Averting a bottleneck

A US ban on the export of crude oil is obsolete and should be easy to rescind. It won't be. But tough politics shouldn't discourage the oil and gas industry from pressing the issue. Constriction of crude exports serves the interests only of extremists who want Americans to quit using oil. With a few, minor exceptions, the export of crude requires licenses subject to nebulous conditions. The requirement evolved from the Arab oil embargo of 1973-74, when anxiety over supply made people think oil produced in the US should stay in the US. The market has changed since then. It's more flexible and transparent now. Production in the US has resumed the growth that ended a few years before the emb...

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