WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The White House issued a veto threat on Wednesday for a U.S. House of Representatives bill that would lift a four-decade-old ban on crude oil exports, saying the legislation was “not needed at this time.”
Congress should instead end “the billions of dollars a year in federal subsidies provided to oil companies” and invest in wind, solar and other renewable energy projects, the White House said in a statement about the bill, which is expected to face a vote in the full House on Friday.
Two similar bills have passed committees in the Senate, but backers are struggling to find enough Democrats for the legislation to pass the full chamber.
Oil company interests and other backers of repealing the ban say the domestic drilling boom will eventually choke on a glut of crude if it is not lifted.
George Baker, the head of Producers for American Crude Oil Exports, or PACE, said that lifting the ban “will help level the playing field and allow America to compete on the international stage,” and that it would create jobs and aid trading partners abroad.
Opponents of lifting the ban say increased drilling would harm the environment and that it would hurt jobs in refining and ship building. (Reporting by Roberta Rampton and Timothy Gardner; Editing by Sandra Maler and James Dalgleish)
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