Update: Both the House and Senate are now moving bills to increase extreme energy extraction by exporting crude oil. It's not too late to contact your lawmakers and tell them to put these bills in the ground next to the oil.
Not since the days of "drill baby drill" chants have I seen Big Oil's agenda advance on so many fronts. Right now, there are six bills proposed in the House and Senate to lift the ban on crude oil exports. Even worse, a growing coalition of Big Oil supporters are pressuring lawmakers to vote "yes" on these bills, which would be cataclysmic for our climate and environment.
Big Oil has even co-opted the Government Accountability Office (GAO), convincing them to report that lifting the ban would benefit the economy while ignoring environmental implications. What the GAO won't tell us is that the reports used to reach this conclusion were funded by the American Petroleum Institute and a former Duke Energy board member1 -- two groups that aren't exactly known for their leadership on clean air and climate change.
But tainted, subjective reports can't hide the plain truth -- lifting the oil export ban will increase domestic drilling, and that means more climate killing emissions, more bomb trains, and more chances for disasters like BP's Deepwater Horizon oil spill.2 The only way to stop these bills from opening up Pandora's crude oil box is to let our lawmakers know: The Ban Must Stand! Will you contact your Representative and Senators and deliver the message?
Big Oil disciples are doing all they can to convince the public that lifting ban would be good for the economy. But even economists say that lifting the ban is unnecessary and would only lead to short-term profits for Big Oil, but could lead to long-term repercussions.3 And, some economists have concluded that gas prices would rise in the long-term, especially in the northeast United States.4
That's why a dozen Senators like Ed Markey (D-MA), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Barbra Boxer (D-CA) recently sent President Obama a letter opposed to lifting the ban. They're rightly concerned that lifting the ban will increase gas prices for Americans, and disrupt the $11.4 billion we have already saved at the pump.5 The letter also outlines how lifting the ban could have serious implications for our national security with more oil train derailments and oil spills. But if you think Big Oil and their cronies care about our health and security, think again.
The oiligarchs are going all in to get as much oil out of the ground as possible. Unfortunately for the planet, this effort is much more perilous than some hair brained congressional scheme, like keeping the confederate flag flying at public parks. Efforts to lift the export ban have gained the support of the same anti-climate coalition that endorsed Keystone XL and other international oil boondoggles -- Big Oil has even co-opted two powerful labor unions to join their misguided coalition.6 Needless to say, we have our work cut our for us.
We've beaten this crude coalition before ... but not without a fight. That's why I need you to contact your lawmakers and let them know we need to stick these bills underground next to the oil, and keep them there once and for all. Please click here to take action.
Thanks for all you do,
Anthony for Environmental Action
1. Mikulka, Justin. Government Accountablity Office Report On Oil Export Ban Based On Indusrty-Funded Studies. DeSmog. November 15, 2014.
2. Adler, Ben. Lifting The Crude-Oil Export Ban Would Worsen Pollution and Climate Change. The Grist. January 13, 2014.
3. Meyer, Gregory and Raval, Anjali. Oil Market Throws Cold Water On U.S. Export Ban Push. Financial Times of London. July 6, 2015.
4. Mikulka, Justin. Elites Agree Oil Cash Crisis Is Opportunity To Lift Crude Export Ban. DeSmog. December 7, 2014.
5. Senator Edward J. Markey: Letter to President Barack Obama Dated June 26, 2015.
6. Wolfgang, Ben. Oil Export Ban Support Pits Obama Against Allies In Congress, Unions. The Washington Times. July 9, 2015.