Republican presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) pledges to lift 1970s ban on U.S. crude oil exports if elected president. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo
OKLAHOMA CITY, Sept. 3 (UPI) -- Lifting a ban on U.S. crude oil exports will bring "immediate" economic stimulus to the economy, Republican presidential contender Marco Rubio said.
Sen. Rubio, R-Fla., addressed supporters in Oklahoma, saying one of the first things he'd do if elected president would be to lift the 1970s era ban on exports of domestic crude oil.
"President Nixon signed it into law in the 1970s -- long before the economy had been fundamentally transformed by globalization and technological innovations, long before the hydraulic-fracturing and shale revolutions had launched a new era of American energy," he said. "Lifting the crude-oil export ban will be an immediate boon to our economy."
The American Petroleum Institute, which represents the interests of the oil and gas sector, last month called on presidential candidates to outline their platforms in what industry supporters describe as the era of U.S. energy abundance.
API President and Chief Executive Officer Jack Gerard said the next U.S. president will oversee issues ranging from oil and gas exports to emissions reduction schemes
"We cannot afford for our next president to be blinded to the opportunities in front of us by a stale mindset of '70s-era scarcity," he said in August.
Rubio said that, from his perspective, no single industry was impacting the financial outlook for everyday Americans more than the energy industry. Economies depend on the sector for growth, while average citizens need the de facto stimulus that comes from lower gasoline prices.
"Yet despite the importance of this industry, our outdated government has made energy one of the most politicized and regulated aspects of our economy," he said.
A report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration finds removing the ban would at most lead to an increase in U.S. crude oil production of around 450,000 barrels per day by 2025. Gasoline prices would be unchanged or, at best, slightly reduced.