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Our energy boom: Export bonsuses

| Tuesday, Dec. 2, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

Repealing America's 1970s-era ban on oil exports is what its shale oil industry needs to continue thriving amid depressed global oil prices — and what U.S. consumers need for lower gasoline prices to continue.

A change in gasoline's global pricing negates the old notion that sending more U.S. oil overseas would raise domestic pump prices, The Washington Times explains. Before 2010, U.S. gasoline prices were linked to the New York Mercantile Exchange's “West Texas Intermediate” (“WTI”) oil price. That price has been lower in recent years than the Intercontinental Exchange's “Brent” oil price, to which U.S. gasoline prices have been linked since 2010 in a market globalized by U.S., Saudi and other gasoline exports.

Repealing the U.S. oil export ban would allow U.S. shale oil producers to sell at higher “Brent” prices overseas, instead of at lower “WTI” prices to glutted domestic refineries. And adding U.S. exports to global supply also would lower oil's global “Brent” price — and, thereby, what Americans pay for gasoline.

That's what General Accountability Office and private studies have found. It's what an upcoming Energy Information Administration report is expected to find, too. The benefits for America's shale industry, consumers and the overall economy make repealing the export ban a no-brainer — and the opposition of too many congressional Democrats an outmoded relic.

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