The former U.S. Ambassador to Mexico, Carlos Pascual, insisted that the U.S. Senate eliminate the ban on exporting U.S. oil, as the basis for an energy alliance between all North American countries.
Pascual, vice-president of the global consulting firm IHS, said “Mexico finds itself in the middle of a major energy reform which will attract investors in the oil industry that will help it recapture it’s potential.”
North America would not act as an oil cartel, he said in a hearing before the Senate Energy Committee, which is examining the ban on U.S. oil that has been in place since 1973.
“North America has three democratic governments, oriented toward a free market with a trusted base of oil production and fixed international standards with a capacity to influence the global energy industry. That is why the United States should export oil,” he said.
An analysis by the IHS showed that an end to the ban on exportations would create 400,000 jobs annually, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) would grow $86 billion and would help reduce the price of gasoline.
The ban on exportations is an anachronism that is left over from a period in the 1970s when there was a gasoline shortage in the United States, he said. The ban was enacted to help control prices.
Although the United States repealed the price controls in 1981, it has maintained strict restrictions over the quantity of crude oil it exports as established by the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975.
Lisa Murkowski, Republican senator from Alaska and chairwoman of the Energy Committee, is in favor of re-examining the policy on prohibition. She was one of 20 legislators who expressed support for the exchange of U.S. light oil for Mexican crude oil.
The senators made clear that the existing law permits the exchange of oil. The United States authorized the sale of light oil to Canada between 1976 and 1985, but has not come to a similar arrangement with Mexico.
Emilio Lozoya, director of Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex), said in January 2015 that Mexico is prepared to import the light oil produced in the United States.
The exchange would include importing 100,000 barrels of light U.S. oil in exchange for a similar amount of Mexican crude oil.
Wyoming Senator John Barraso mentioned the proposed exchange with Mexico during the hearings and the topic was discussed in greater depth and detail during Pascual’s written testimony.
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