GOP Congress: 5 energy priorities

Republicans captured control of Congress in the 2014 midterms elections. But what does it mean for US energy policy? Here are five GOP energy priorities.

3. Squeaking open the oil spigot

Matthew Brown/AP/File
A pump jack pulls crude oil from the Bakken region of the Northern Plains near Bainville, Mont. Growing US production from the Bakken and other shale formations in Texas has increased calls for the US to lift its ban on crude oil exports.

The US has barred crude oil exports for decades, but surging US production has left many wondering if it’s time to reconsider the policy. A chief proponent of easing the exports ban is Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R) of Alaska, who is slated to be chair of the Energy Committee in the GOP Senate.

Many inside the energy industry say oil exports are more vital to the oil industry’s future than the Keystone XL pipeline – the issue that has captured the spotlight.

“They can lift that ban on exports and level the playing field and untie our hands,” said oil mogul Harold Hamm, chief executive officer of Oklahoma-based Continental Resources, in an interview with Politico. “That’s the number one issue right there.”

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