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Congressman Tom Cole

Representing the 4th District of Oklahoma

Tulsa World: Harold Hamm: Oil exports are a victory for Oklahoma, America

January 9, 2016
News Stories

Tulsa World Opinion - By Harold Hamm

Oklahomans should applaud the members of our state’s congressional delegation who voted to pass the omnibus bill, which lifted the 40-year-old ban on U.S. crude oil exports and set the stage for a market recovery.

Most of Oklahoma’s congressmen recognized that a vote for the omnibus bill was a vote for American energy. For too long, America has been held hostage to the predatory pricing tactics of OPEC. Thanks to support from Sen. Jim Inhofe, Sen. James Lankford, Rep. Markwayne Mullin, Rep. Frank Lucas, Rep. Tom Cole and Rep. Steve Russell, American policymakers have now taken a stand against OPEC’s strategy to run down the price of oil and run U.S. independent oil and natural gas producers out of business.

Through this historic legislative action, America will reassert our nation’s energy leadership. Lifting the ban on U.S. crude oil exports will lower American gasoline prices by up to 13 cents a gallon, create 400,000 American jobs per year, increase GDP by 1 percent, drastically reduce the trade deficit, support American allies, and neutralize OPEC, Russia, Iran and other dictatorial regimes.

As preparations are being made to export U.S. crude oil into world markets, we already are seeing the effects of this monumental legislation. Two business days after the ban was lifted, the differential between WTI (U.S.) and Brent (world) crude oil prices flipped, with premium U.S. light sweet crude oil trading higher. This is in stark contrast to WTI trading at a $27 per barrel discount in recent years due to the inability of domestic producers to get their product to world markets.

The willingness of Oklahoma’s congressional delegation to collaborate for the good of their constituents will create lasting benefits for our state. Lifting the ban ensures a level playing field for Oklahoma oil and an increase in tax revenues, jobs and quality of life for Oklahomans. All with no impact on consumer gasoline and diesel prices. Indeed, U.S. crude oil exports are a victory for Oklahoma and for America.

Thank you to the majority of Oklahoma’s congressmen who had the courage to maintain their focus on what’s best for the people they were sent to Washington to represent. Through their critical leadership, the oil and natural gas industry will continue its vital role as the economic driver of our state.

Harold Hamm is founder, chairman and CEO of Oklahoma City-based Continental Resources.

Online: Tulsa World

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