Exporting Crude Oil Helps Diminish Trade Deficit

Dec 21, 2017


The following editorial writing by Port Corpus Christi Commission Chair, Charles W. Zahn, is featured in Thursday’s Morning Consult newsletter.

This week marks the two-year anniversary of Congress lifting the ban on the export of crude oil, a definitive step that cemented the United States’ status as a global supplier of energy. In that time, not only have we reestablished ourselves as a market leader worldwide, we have also made a significant dent in our ever-growing trade deficit and supported national security in a tangible way.

Countries dependent on imports are forced to calculate their fuel needs against national considerations, from human rights to economic equity to political independence. Resource-rich countries, on the other hand, can use their power for better or for worse, and time and again we’ve watched global superpowers leverage energy trade as a weapon.

It wasn’t too long ago that the United States faced growing dependence on imported crude oil and natural gas to meet domestic demand. Some generations will still remember the fuel shortages of the 1970s, while the original argument to build the Keystone XL pipeline centered around a desire to replace Persian Gulf imports with Canadian imports. Thanks to the U.S. shale renaissance, those days are a rapidly fading memory. Today, the United States is not only a net exporter of petroleum products and natural gas, but the latest projections find that we’ll become a net oil exporter by the end of the next decade.

But resource wealth and production are only half the battle. The role reversal we’ve seen in such a short period of time. . .Read More