House Passes Bill Axing US Oil Export Ban, Veto Looms

House Passes Bill Axing US Oil Export Ban, Veto Looms
A bill to repeal the US oil export ban passes the House of Representatives, but faces an uncertain future after a veto threat by President Barack Obama.


WASHINGTON, Oct 9 (Reuters) - A bill to repeal the U.S. oil export ban passed the House of Representatives on Friday, but faces an uncertain future after a veto threat by President Barack Obama.

The bill sponsored by Representative Joe Barton, a Texas Republican, passed the House 261 to 159, failing to reach the 290 votes necessary to overturn a presidential veto.

Only 26 Democrats voted for the bill despite Republicans' late effort to attract them by adding a measure to provide funds for the Maritime Security Program. The fleet of privately-owned ships brings supplies to U.S. troops and allies abroad.

The White House this week threatened to veto the House bill, saying Congress should work to move the country to cleaner sources of energy. The administration advocated measures including ending billions of dollars in tax breaks for oil companies and instead investing in wind and solar power and energy efficiency.

Congress passed the ban in 1975 after the Arab oil embargo caused snaking lines at gas stations and fears of global oil shortages.

"Much has changed since the ban on crude was put in place," Representative Fred Upton, a Republican of Michigan. "One of biggest threats to the American energy boom today is not an international actor, but rather our own ban on oil exports."

Backers of repealing the trade restriction say it would keep the drilling boom alive and help U.S. allies find alternative sources of oil beyond Russia and the Middle East.

Opponents of lifting the ban, including the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers union, say it will cost jobs in refineries and shipbuilding. Greens, meanwhile, say additional energy drilling will harm the environment.

Representative Frank Pallone, a Democrat from New Jersey, a state with several refineries, opposed the bill, saying it would be a "windfall to the oil industry."

Two similar bills in the Senate have passed through committees, but backers are struggling to find enough Democrats to pass legislation in the full chamber.

(Reporting by Timothy Gardner; editing by Christian Plumb)

Copyright 2017 Thomson Reuters. Click for Restrictions.


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lee | Oct. 10, 2015
The do nothing congress and the worthless executive branch will do the wrong thing for the country once again by not passing this legislation. Next election plan on a lot of changes that will put responsible persons in power and hopefully legislation that will allow the US to recover. Term limits, campaign reform, tax reform, and obama out of the way for starters.


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