WASHINGTON — A Senate panel has approved energy legislation that would lift the 40-year-old ban on crude oil exports and open some areas of the Outer Continental Shelf to oil and gas exploration.
Republican Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, chairman of the panel, championed the plan to lift the restrictions. It passed by a party-line vote of 12-10. She said lifting the ban would turn the U.S. into an energy superpower.
Democrat Maria Cantwell of Washington, who opposes lifting the ban, s the votes as an important first step in a long journey.
The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee approved an array of energy legislation on Thursday. Lawmakers wanted to move the energy legislation out of committee before the August recess.
On Wednesday, House Speaker John Boehner said he supports a push by U.S. oil companies to ship their crude oil overseas and lift a decades-long ban on exports.
“We greatly appreciate the speaker’s leadership on this important issue. This is of tremendous importance to the Permian Basin and to the PBPA. Hopefully, Congress will lift this outdated policy by the end of the year,” Shepperd told the Reporter-Telegram.
MRT Oil Editor Mella McEwen also contributed to this report. AP