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Conventional wisdom on U.S. oil exports wrong, report says

The findings from IHS are controversial in some circles.
By Daniel J. Graeber   |   May 29, 2014 at 11:05 AM  |  Updated May 29, 2014 at 11:31 AM   |   Comments

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HOUSTON, May 29 (UPI) -- A report Thursday from global consulting group IHS finds U.S. gasoline prices could decline if a 1970s era ban on crude oil exports is lifted.

IHS said reversing legislation enacted after the Arab oil embargo in the 1970s would lead to an increase in oil production from the current level of 8.2 million barrels per day to 11.2 million barrels per day, which it says would translate to lower domestic retail gasoline prices.

The report said more crude oil on the international market would lower global prices, which would be to the benefit of U.S. consumers.

"The assumption that allowing crude oil exports would result in higher gasoline prices for consumers is not accurate," the report said.

The report from IHS mirrors a March report prepared for the American Petroleum Institute, the industry's lobbying group.

In January, Graeme Burnett, a senior vice president from Delta Air Lines, which owns an oil refinery in Pennsylvania, testified that reversing the ban would hurt the U.S. economy. More exports of U.S. crude would mean more imports for some markets, which would lead to higher global oil prices.

U.S. Reps. Ed Markey last year said exports would only go to "boost oil company profits" and not help the American consumer.

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