The US should scrap its antique prohibition against the export of domestically produced crude oil. The sole argument for retaining the export ban is unsound. Perhaps unwittingly, it also conspires with antioil politics impeding another important element of North American petroleum logistics.
Congress banned exports of crude oil when it passed the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of after the Arab oil embargo of 1973-74. The law also extended oil-price controls, set vehicle fuel-use standards, and established the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.
Much has changed since 1975, when US production of crude oil was in a decline thought to be permanent and oil imports were rising...