US Policies toward Liquefied Natural Gas and Oil Exports: An Update

by Cathleen Cimino-Isaacs, Peterson Institute for International Economics
and Gary Clyde Hufbauer, Peterson Institute for International Economics

July 2014

Horizontal drilling and fracking are transforming global energy production, consumption, and trade leading to a surge of domestic production in the United States. Free exports of liquefied natural gas, crude oil, and other energy products are an essential complement of US international economic policy, which has long advocated free trade in raw materials, unconstrained by export barriers or restrictions. The Obama White House should prod the Department of Energy, the Department of Commerce, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and other agencies to speed up their approvals of such exports. Short of lifting full restrictions on crude oil exports, the Department of Commerce should build on its recent exemptions for ultralight oil condensate and exempt light crude oil from the current export prohibitions with determination that sales to Europe are consistent with the US national interest.

Data disclosure: The data underlying this analysis are available here [xlsx].

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