ANNOUNCED AS TEMPORARYNo
The Obama administration agreed to allow two Texas companies to export processed ultra-light oil. This move represents an easing of the existing restrictions on energy exports, but is opposed for that reason by some members of Congress.
Current U.S. law under the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975 generally prohibits the exportation of unprocessed crude oil, but does allow exports of refined products such as gasoline. At issue here is the extent of the processing that is required in order for the product to be exported.
The Bureau of Industry and Security (Department of Commerce) had issued private rulings toPioneer Natural Resources Company and Enterprise Products Partners, deciding that a super-light oil known as condensate qualifies as a refined product, and thus may be exported, provided that the product has been stabilized and run through a distillation tower.
Senators Ed Markey of Massachusetts and Robert Menendez of New Jersey, both of whom are Democrats, then objected to the decision in a letter they sent on July 2, 2014 to Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker. 'Export of condensate or other light crude oils appear to be prohibited unless and until the regulation is revised following notice and public comment,' they stated in the letter, arguing that without a revision of those regulations and a presidential finding that crude exports are consistent with the national interest 'the Commerce Department does not appear to possess the authority to issue exemptions for condensates or some subset of condensates from the crude export restrictions.'
Despite these objections, the decisions do not appear to have been reversed.
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