Update: Senator Lisa Murkowski's bill to export crude oil, and expand domestic drilling is only five votes shy of a super majority. Contact your senators and tell them "the ban on crude oil exports must stand!"
Lisa Murkowski's bill to lift the ban on oil exports is sliding toward the finish line. If it crosses, millions of acres of federal lands will be open to oil and gas drilling. Not to mention the risk to our oceans from Shell's Arctic drilling to new proposals to open the Atlantic coast. Murkowski's bill now has 13 co-sponsors including Climate-Denier-in-Chief Senator James Inhofe. A recent count put her only five votes shy of attaining a senate super majority -- all but assuring passage.1
But for all of her talk about job creation and lower energy prices, Murkowski is not as slick as her bill. For example, she doesn't want anyone to know that gas prices would actually increase if this bill passes. You see, by dismantling the surplus of oil in our reserves, Murkowski's slick plan forces us to compete with other countries for our own oil.2 Even Big Oil representatives contend that lifting the ban would raise prices and, as such, are against Murkowski's bill.3
But Murkowski and Inhoffe aren't interested in our pain at the pump. Just like they're not interested in climate chaos, oil spills and public health. They're only interested in drilling up every bit of carbon under the ground and selling it, because that's what Big Oil wants. And Big oil has donated over $300 million in three years to oil disciple candidates.4
You know Murkowski and her Big Oil backers are going to grease ever Senator's palm they can to get this bill through. That's why I need you to contact your senators today and tell them plain and simple, "The ban must stand!"
Murkowski has also failed to let the public know about what economists call the "resource curse," which Stanford economist and Professor Terry Karl breaks down like this: "Oil dependent countries eventually become among the most economically troubled, most authoritarian and most conflict ridden."5 And none of the proponents of this bill have discussed the climate implications of digging up more oil than our planet's carbon budget can afford at the exact moment we're trying to lead the world in the fight to stop climate change ahead of the Paris Climate Conference this December.
President Obama has made some big commitments to the entire world about reducing U.S. emissions. This week he announced a plan with Brazil to generate 20 percent of our energy from renewable sources in the next 15 years.6 If Murkowski's bill passes the Senate, we'll be leading the world in the exact opposite direction by exporting more fossil fuels we simply cannot afford to burn, and which will only make the transition to clean power more costly.
That's why Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) along with 12 other senators including Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Barbra Boxer (D-CA) recently sent President Obama a letter outlining their concerns with this petro-pernicious bill. Among other things the letter discusses rising domestic gas prices that would disrupt the $11.4 billion in savings Americans have already enjoyed.7 Markey also highlights the idea that oil exports would increase the number of bomb trains that traverse our country -- and we already know that more bomb trains means more explosions in our communities.
But 13 Senators is not enough to stop Murkowski's bill and keep the oil in the ground -- we need every Senator we can get. Contact your senators today and tell them to keep the oil export ban intact.
Thanks for taking action,
1. Gardner, Timothy. The Push To Repeal The US Oil Export Ban Faces A Steep Obstacle. Business Insider. May 13, 2015.
2. McDonald, Michael. Push To Lift The US Oil Exports Ban Gathers Steam. Christian Science Monitor. June 24, 2015.
3. Reuters. U.S. Mulls Lifting Oil Export Ban. The Maritime Executive. June 3, 2015.
4. Center for Responsive Politics: Total Oil and Gas Sector Donations 2013-2015.
5. Rosenberg, Tina. Avoiding The Curse Of The Oil Rich Nations. The New York Times. February 13, 2013.
6. Cama, Timothy. U.S., Brazil Pledge 20 Percent Renewable Electricity By 2030. The Hill. June 30, 2015.
7. Senator Edward J. Markey: Letter to President Barack Obama Dated June 26, 2015.