It would be as cruel as it is contradictory.
The Biden administration is kicking the tires on an oil-product export ban, a policy that would undermine the president’s own foreign affairs platform and that would fail to deliver the cost savings it promises. The Department of Energy, which in August sent American oil refiners a letter urging an export cutback, is now actively evaluating a federal ban at the White House’s request, according to Bloomberg’s Ari Natter and Jennifer A. Dlouhy.
As a foreign policy matter, such an export ban would be as cruel as it is contradictory. In response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, European countries like Germany have sharply reduced their imports of Russian energy commodities. President Joe Biden has encouraged U.S. companies to alleviate the supply shock by exporting as much as they can across the Atlantic.
While natural gas has been the major crunch point (and a U.S. liquefied natural gas export ban reportedly is not on the table at this time), the European energy crisis extends beyond that commodity. With gas prices at astronomical levels, diesel and heating oil are growing in importance on the global and European markets. U.S. exports of oil products were 11 percent higher from January to June this year compared to the same period last year, according to September data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).
Jordan McGillis is a Paulson Policy Analyst at the Manhattan Institute.
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