Murkowski, Heitkamp lead Senate call for crude exports to Mexico

US Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alas.) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) led a coalition asking US Sec. of Commerce Penny Pritzker in a Feb. 18 letter to encourage the administration to authorize crude oil exports to Mexico under the same conditions established for those to Canada.

US Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alas.) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) led a coalition asking US Sec. of Commerce Penny Pritzker in a Feb. 18 letter to encourage the administration to authorize crude oil exports to Mexico under the same conditions established for those to Canada.

They cited recent news reports that Mexico’s Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex) applied to swap Mexican heavy oil for light US crude. “We encourage [DOC] to approve any such applications it may receive from adjacent foreign states, such as Mexico.”

Nineteen Senate Republicans also signed the letter. It noted that the 1975 Energy Policy and Conservation Act and other relevant statutes clearly authorize swaps and exchanges. “These potential transactions are in the national interest and, if applied for, should be authorized without delay,” it said.

In a separate statement, Murkowski, who chairs the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, said US President Ronald Reagan authorized US crude exports to Canada 30 years ago, which contributed to lower consumer prices and greater domestic energy production. “Mexico deserves the same treatment,” she said.

“Just as we have strong partnerships with our neighbors to the north in terms of petroleum and natural gas production, we need to be making concerted efforts to reduce barriers that hinder the growth of our existing relationship with Mexico,” added Heitkamp, who is ranking minority member of the Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee’s National Security and International Trade and Finance Subcommittee. “This way, we can keep working to develop resources in the Gulf of Mexico and make sure the exchange of energy data isn’t upended by undue red-tape,” she said.

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.

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