Forty years ago, the Arab Oil Embargo changed the way America thinks about energy. After finding ourselves at the mercy of a bunch of oil states, we panicked. The government put price controls in place, the Strategic Petroleum Reserve was launched, and all oil exports were banned.
Thanks to recent breakthroughs in technology, however, our country’s energy picture has taken a dramatic turn for the better. The U.S. now imports about half the oil it consumes – some 8 to 9 million barrels a day – and we export more than 3 million barrels of oil products, such as gasoline and diesel, every day.
Does it make sense for us to ban oil exports at the same time we’re shipping millions of barrels of oil products overseas? It might be time to revisit that policy.