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Ban on U.S. crude oil exports set to end

Written by Nick Blenkey
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DECEMBER 16, 2015 — After weeks of closed-door conclaves and late-night haggling, Republicans and Democrats reached an agreement Tuesday night on a $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill to fund the U.S. government until October 2016.

Among its many, many other provisions, the 2,009 page bill will lift a 40 year old ban on the export of crude oil from the U.S.

According to some sources, ending the oil export ban was a key Republican priority. Why this should be so is probably more a matter of symbolism and sentiment than anything else. In a world awash in cheap crude the ending of the ban will likely be greeted by more yawns than cheers in the tanker market.

More interesting is the trade off that Democrats got in exchange for agreeing to end the ban. According to the Huffington Post, the concessions consisted of a five-year extension of production and investment tax credits for renewable energy sources like wind and solar, three-year reauthorization of the Land Water Conservation Fund, and a concession from Republicans to exclude all major anti-environmental measures from the bill.

If you want to wade through all 2,009 pages of the bill for yourself, download them HERE

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