WSJ: How the Oil Export Ban Chokes the Fracking Boom
by Holman W. Jenkins, Jr., Wall Street Journal, March 6, 2015 (excerpt)
...(US oil refiners) would be horribly disadvantaged by (US crude oil) exports due to the operation of another idiotic law, the 1920 Jones Act, which allows oil and other cargoes only to be hauled between U.S. ports aboard U.S.-built, -owned and -operated vessels.
It costs $2 a barrel to ship Texas crude to Europe or Asia and $7 to ship it to Philadelphia. If the Jones Act were left in place but the export ban lifted, a great deal of U.S. oil would go to overseas refineries solely to take advantage of cheaper shipping rates.
You may recall that Congress murmured a year ago about rolling back the export ban after analysts at Citigroup started warning of a looming storage crisis. Members quickly sank back to their knees under bludgeoning from shipping, labor and refinery interests. Sen. John McCain, who has battled the Jones Act for a decade, has been a special hero. In a recent hilarious attack, the shipping lobby even claimed the Jones Act was the cure for income inequality.
So forget the Saudis. The biggest danger to America’s fracking revolution may be one of America’s hoariest protectionist lobbies, the Jones Act gang.
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