In December of 2015 the 40-year ban on exporting crude oil to foreign countries was lifted
In 1975 the EPCA was created in response to the 1973 oil crisis
The EPCA placed a ban on exporting America’s crude oil
In April of 2015 Rep Charles Dent introduced H.R.2029
Title I Section 101 of H.R.2029 lifts the 40-year ban
While people around the nation know about the stand against the Dakota Access Pipeline, most do not know some of the sinister plans that occurred in the background. Now, as we see larger pipelines beginning to pop up around the country, it is important to understand why this is happening.
1973 Oil Crisis
To understand why we are seeing a surge in pipelines, we must look back to the “1973 oil crisis.” In October of 1973, the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries proclaimed an oil embargo. When the embargo ended in March of 1974, oil had risen from $3.00 per barrel to $12.00 globally with a significant price increase for America.
In 1975, the Energy Policy and Conservation Act was put into action. The EPCA was an act of the United States Congress in response to the 1973 embargo. One part of the EPCA declared it US policy to have a reserve of petroleum, which put the Strategic Petroleum Reserve into motion and extended the Emergency Petroleum Allocation Act of 1973.
Energy Policy and Conservation Act
The EPCA also put a focus on energy efficiency. Part A of Title III established the Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards for automobiles. Part B of Title III established the Energy Conservation Program, which gave the Department of Energy “authority to develop, revise, and implement minimum energy conservation standards for appliances and equipment.”
Most notably, the EPCA placed a ban on exporting crude oil to foreign countries, with the US Commerce Department allowed to make exceptions for certain types of oil.
Exceptional export licenses were granted for oil from the Cook Inlet and the Trans-Alaskan Pipeline System. Oil exported to Canada, and specific trades with Mexico were also part of the exception, along with heavy oils from California. Exceptions were also made for re-exporting foreign oil. Once crude oil is processed, it can be exported without a license.
In 2014 through 2015, the EPCA was said to be the reason why America’s crude oil had a cost of $10.00 a barrel below the world cost. Despite the EPCA helping to ensure America’s crude oil prices remained lower than other areas of the world, and the ability to keep domestic resources inside the country, in 2015 the 40-year ban on exporting crude oil was lifted.
On April 24, 2015, Representative for Pennsylvania’s 15th congressional district Charles Dent introduced H.R.2029. H.R.2029 was officially known as the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016. It was 887 pages long and came at a point where time was of the essence to pass the bill through.
However, deep inside H.R.2029, on page 746 to be exact, lies Title I Section 101, which looked to repeal Section 103 of the EPCA. In other words, the law would lift the 40-year ban on exporting crude oil. In December of 2015, H.R.2029 became law and Section 103 of the EPCA existed no longer.
At first glance, some may not see lifting the 40-year ban as a bad idea. That is where we take a closer look at the man behind H.R.2029, Charles Wieder “Charlie” Dent, and the intentions behind lifting the ban.
BASF SE and the Deutsche Bank
Dent has long time ties to the chemical industry. He has been one of the greatest opponents against Democrats who have tried to implement stricter regulations upon the chemical industry. One company, in particular, BASF SE, has made significant contributions to Dent over the last few years. BASF SE has a strong connection to at least one powerful entity directly involved with the Dakota Access Pipeline.
The Deutsche Bank acts as the financial advisor for the German chemical giant BASF SE. At the same time, the Deutsche Bank has $275 million dollars invested in the Dakota Access Pipeline. The first major pipeline following the lift of the 40-year ban on exporting crude oil. At first glance, it would seem foreign investors used their lobbyists to ensure their ability to benefit from America’s crude oil.
Dakota Access Pipeline
Dakota Access LLC originally made the claim that their pipeline was going to be for domestic use to benefit the people in America. In the pipeline’s early days, Dakota Access went as far as to say the pipeline would be strictly for “100% Domestic consumption.”
The claim that the pipeline would be for domestic consumption was a lie that the company abandoned even before construction of the was completed. In an article from The Intercept, Vicki Granado, Energy Transfer Partners spokesperson stated that “We will not own the oil that is transported through the pipeline. We are like FedEx. We will deliver the oil to the refineries for the producers.”
Now that Section 103 of the EPCA has been lifted, we are seeing more of these major pipelines being introduced around the country. A trend that will most likely continue as “Big Oil” now has a new avenue to make a greater profit while helping foreign interests with little to no concern of what risks our country could face.