Menendez Proposes Common Sense Amendments to Oil Export Bill

Menendez Proposes Common Sense Amendments to Oil Export Bill

To Evaluate Future Job Loss, Keep American Oil in America


WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), an opponent of lifting the U.S. crude oil export ban, today offered two amendments at the Senate Banking Committee mark-up that would have vastly improved the repeal bill.

His first amendment (full text of Menendez Amendment 12) would have delayed the effective date of the crude oil export ban repeal until after the Government Accountability Office (GAO) conducted a study on potential jobs loss caused by the repeal. The bill includes a measure that directs GAO to do a study after the fact. The Senator believes it makes little sense to enact a policy that we fully expect to cost people their jobs before the study and his amendment would have fixed that.

Menendez’s second amendment (full text of Menendez Amendment 13) would have delayed the effective date to lift the ban until such time as the U.S. is producing enough crude oil to meet its domestic consumption demands.

Menendez Amendment 12: GAO Report on Job Losses

Below are Menendez’s remarks at the mark-up, as prepared for delivery:

“Thank you Mr. Chairman. My first amendment addresses what I believe should be a central consideration of this bill—its impact on the American worker.

“As written, this bill requires that after Congress lifts the export ban, GAO will conduct a study on the job losses for shipbuilders and refiners that are widely expected to occur.

“Think about that for a minute—we’re going to enact a policy that we fully expect to cost people their jobs—and the way we’re going to resolve that is to do a study after the fact?

“A study doesn’t get people their jobs back. A study doesn’t pay the bills. People don’t want a study about how they lost their job—they want their job.

“So my amendment makes a simple change—it would require us to finish that study prior to the export ban being lifted, rather than after the fact.

“It then creates a 90-day window after the study is done before the export ban is lifted.

“That way, when those potential job losses are spelled out before us in black and white, by an independent watchdog, we’ll have time to reconsider what I believe to be an economically disastrous policy before it goes into effect. Before it’s too late.
“I urge support for this amendment.”

Menendez Amendment 13: Energy Independence

Below are Menendez’s remarks at the mark-up, as prepared for delivery:

"Thank you Mr. Chairman. Let me start by noting that the oil industry claims that the underlying bill will reduce gas prices. If that’s the case, it will be the first time—in my 20-plus years in Congress—that I’ve ever seen the oil industry lobbying for something that would ostensibly lower their prices. I find that hard to believe.

“But there’s one thing that is clear—that the U.S. is nowhere close to breaking its dependence on foreign crude oil.

“In 2014 the U.S. imported an average of 7 million barrels of crude oil a day—that includes over 3 million barrels a day from the OPEC cartel; and nearly 2 million barrels a day from the Persian Gulf.

“I think Americans would be appalled to know that we’re considering exporting U.S. oil at a time when we’re still reliant on foreign oil…to know that instead of investing in U.S. refineries and creating good-paying jobs at home, that we’re considering a policy that would send those jobs to refineries overseas.

“The reason Congress enacted the export ban in the first place was to help America achieve energy independence in the face of a volatile and undemocratic global market.

“Given that, my amendment simply requires that prior to lifting the export ban, the President must certify that the U.S. is producing more crude oil than it needs for consumption.

“I urge support for this amendment.”

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