We're getting close to the showdown moment on oil exports. Since the House voted in favor of lifting the export ban -- largely along party lines -- and despite President Obama's promise to veto any such bill, Republican spokespeople and candidates have jumped at the chance to speak out in favor of lifting ban.1,2,3
Senate leaders haven't scheduled a vote yet, and we don't want them too. If we act fast, and decisively to show our Senators that Americans are opposed to the new drilling, spilling, bomb trains and climate chaos that oil exports would unleash, we can bury Murkowski's plan now, before it takes another step.
We've put together a plan with our allies to do just that, but we need to raise $10,000 right away to place ads like this one in the key Washington D.C. newspapers our Senators read. Can you chip in to help?
It doesn't take a lot of us, or a lot of money, but it is really important that we get started now, before a vote is scheduled in the Senate. Once Republican leaders in the House decided to make oil exports an issue, the bill moved really quickly from committee, to the floor, to being passed on a largely party-line vote.
Right this moment, the same thing could happen in the Senate, where somewhere between 50 and 60 Senators have already said they support Lisa Murkowski's oil exports bill. Many others, including Democratic leaders and past climate-champions have signaled a willingness to 'deal' or compromise on the issue of exporting crude oil.
Neither of those facts are good for us, or the planet. But delaying or killing the legislation to lift the 40-year crude oil export ban would be. Oil prices are still at a record low, and Big Oil companies are getting hit where it hurts - their wallets. Shell abandoned plans to drill in the Arctic, ExxonMobil faces a potential criminal investigation for their cover up of climate change and last week Obama pulled the plug on future Arctic drilling.4, 5, 6
It's a bad time to be an oil company. But we need to keep it that way if we want to keep 2/3rds of fossil fuels in the ground and avert a climate crisis. More drilling and shipping crude oil threatens that goal -- not to mention our coasts, towns and climate. More of us will live next door to a drilling rig as they expand production in the Bakken (America's tar sands) and off the Atlantic Coast. And even if you don't live next to the drillers, your community will be at risk as more and more bomb trains, pipelines and tankers traverse our nation and the world carrying perilous petroleum.7 That's why a majority of Americans, including 75 percent of Democrats, 69 percent of Independents and 61 percent of Republicans all oppose lifting the ban.8
It all comes down to the next few weeks and whether we can hold the line in the Senate. Click here to chip in $5, $20 or whatever you can afford so we can get our message out before it's too late and keep the crude oil export ban intact.
Drew and the Crude Oil Swan Song crew at Environmental Action
1 - Associated Press, House votes to lift ban on oil exports, CBS news, October 9, 2015.
2 - Mark Drajem, Obama Opposes Bill to Lift Oil Export Ban Set for House Vote, Bloomberg news, September 15, 2015
3 - Jeremy W. Peters and Coral Davenport, Marco Rubio’s Energy Policy Centers on Drilling and Reversing Obama Rules, The New York Times, October 16, 2015
- Matt Flegenheimer, Jeb Bush Calls for Ending Ban on Crude Oil Exports, New York Times, September 29, 2015
3 - Elana Schor, House endorses oil exports amid echoes of Keystone fight, Politico, October 09, 2015
4 - Terry Macalister, Shell abandons Alaska Arctic drilling, The Guardian, September 28, 2015
5 - Emily Aatkin, Exxon’s Climate Cover-Up Should Be Investigated By DOJ, Tobacco Prosecutor Says, Think Porgress, October 20, 2015
6 - Chris Mooney, In a major setback for Arctic drilling, the Obama administration cancels two oil lease sales, The Washington Post, October 16, 2015
7 - Matt Lee-Ashley and Alison Cassady, The Environmental Impacts of Exporting More American Crude Oil, Center for American Progress, August 21, 2015.
8 - Hart Research Associates, Public Opinion on the Use of Domestic Oil, December 19, 2014