Senator Led Efforts in Congress to Reach Bipartisan Deal to Lift 40-Year Old Ban on Exporting Oil which Made Shipment Possible
U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp today issued the following statement about Hess Corp exporting the first shipment of Bakken crude from North Dakota to Europe. The shipment was made possible because Heitkamp led efforts in Congress for a year and a half to pass landmark bipartisan legislation lifting the 40- year old ban on exporting oil, which finally happened in December 2015.
“Just four months after Congress lifted the 40 year old ban on exporting oil, we’re already seeing the impact for North Dakota as Hess Corp exported its first shipment of Bakken crude,” said Heitkamp. “Lifting the oil export ban was my top priority in Congress because of the effect it would have on enabling North Dakota oil to reach new markets around the world, both in the short-term and for years and decades to come. I often get frustrated with the gridlock in Congress, but it’s encouraging that after a year and a half of working to forge a bipartisan deal in Congress to lift the ban, we accomplished that goal and now we’re witnessing the results that will benefit consumers, our economy, and our national security.”
Heitkamp’s efforts since the summer of 2014 paved the way for a deal in Congress to lift the oil export ban which was incorporated in the end-of-the-year spending bill Congress passed in December 2015. For more than a year and a half, she worked to educate other senators — especially Democrats — about the need to lift the ban, meeting with top White House officials, building support for the policy change, and negotiating a bipartisan deal that brought Senate Democrats on board so the policy had enough votes to pass in the Senate. The deal also includes part of Heitkamp’s initial legislation to lift the ban, which was a key piece to building support from Democrats.
The bipartisan deal – which Heitkamp helped negotiate – lifted the ban on exporting oil as well as extended tax credits for wind and solar energy, and extended the Land and Water Conservation Fund.