US Should Lift Ban On Oil And Gas Exports, Contend Scholars At Texas A&M Bush

December 12, 2014

Cover of Oil and Gas Takeaway

Not only should the United States lift its ban on exporting oil and natural gas in light of today’s economic and political climate, but it was wrong to ever ban such exports in the first place, contend two top scholars at the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University.

Dr. James Griffin, an authority on energy and public policy, and Dr. Gregory Gause, an expert on the Middle East, make that argument in the new issue of “The Takeaway” published by the Bush School’s Mosbacher Institute for Trade, Economics, and Public Policy. In “Free Trade in Oil and Natural Gas: The Case for Lifting the Ban on US Energy Exports,” the authors say that the U.S. should cease to view its energy resources as a purely domestic issue but rather a global one that impacts not only global prices in energy but also international affairs.

Griffin and Gause say they believe that energy security is a world-wide problem, not a U.S., China, or European Union problem, and that all are dependent on the world oil market.

As the US seeks to extricate itself from energy dependence on the Middle East, increase its energy security through trade and innovation, and maintain a robust economy, the benefits of lifting the ban on U.S. energy exports outweigh the costs, say the authors. They propose that allowing U.S. exports could add 8.7 million barrels per day of crude oil to the world market while also reducing possible shocks to the world economy.  Griffin and Gause also believe that lifting a ban on U.S. natural gas exports could reassure Western allies and send a message to Russia to stop holding Europeans hostage to its high gas prices in times of political strife.

Griffin is a professor in the Bush School and holds the Bob Bullock Chair in Public Policy and Finance.  Gause, a noted Middle East scholar, heads the Bush School’s Department of International Affairs and holds the John H. Lindsey ’44 Chair.

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