House GOP holds off on crude exports -- for now

22-Jul-2015

House Energy and Commerce Committee Republicans have decided against including a controversial repeal of the crude exports ban in the panel's comprehensive energy package that is set for an initial subcommittee markup tomorrow.

The 95-page bill, unveiled last night, sticks to the blueprint laid out by committee leaders earlier this year, with a heavy focus on modernizing the electric grid and energy workforce, promoting efficiency, as well as taking steps to factor the oil and gas boom into U.S. domestic and foreign policy considerations.

After pledging to work with Democrats on a bill that could advance with bipartisan support, Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) steered clear of one politically charged issue -- ending the 40-year-old crude exports ban. Aides said the bill reflects the bipartisan agreement of the principal negotiators, although as a committee memo notes, amendments can be submitted up to two hours before being offered at markup.

Democrats expressed skepticism over repealing the ban during a hearing earlier this month, with one industry ally -- Texas' Gene Green -- saying he would withhold his support for the bill if a repeal was included (E&E Daily, July 10). (by Geof Koss, Hannah Northey and Daniel Bush, E&E reporters)

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Also see our reasons Congress should lift the ban