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The move throws into question a bill that sought to reform policies across the energy sector, from hydroelectric dams to home efficiency to defense against cyber attacks on the power grid.
The legislation was introduced last summer by Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, and Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Washington.
Shell’s decision last month to halt offshore drilling in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas raised questions about the need for the port project aimed primarily at reducing travel costs for oil and gas support vessels.
The company first applied to produce oil from its Greater Mooses Tooth site in Alaska 13 years ago.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, wants to know whether the “fanfare” over U.S. oil swaps with Mexico — touted as approved in August — was overblown.
Forty years after the U.S. created an emergency crude stockpile, it needs modernization to swiftly respond to oil supply disruptions, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz told senators.
Although the Senate banking committee voted 13-9 to approve an oil exports bill, the panel debate on the measure illustrated hardening partisan division over the possible trade policy change.
Before the Senate Banking Committee votes on legislation to lift the oil export ban on Thursday, the panel may consider whether to axe some U.S. biofuel mandates.
Oil producers and their allies on Capitol Hill are mulling an array of strategies for getting legislation authorizing widespread crude exports onto the president’s desk.
The EIA analysis also throws some cold water on the entire pro-export crusade, suggesting that widely selling U.S. crude abroad would do little to boost either domestic oil prices or production.