President Bush should proceed with his rumored plan to test exports of heavy crude oil from California. The only thing stopping him is the precedent established by a ban on exports of Alaskan North Slope crude. Federal law currently allows exports of crude to U.S. territories, from state waters of Alaska's Cook Inlet, and certain crudes to Canada. Bush merely has to issue a Presidential finding that other such U.S. crude exports will not harm the interests of U.S. consumers. Already, supporters of a U.S. oil export ban have begun to howl. They want to know how a nation that imports nearly half the oil it needs can afford to export...

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