America lifts its ban on oil exports

For decades, the word “market” has been a misnomer for global trade in oil. Not only has the business been manipulated by an international cartel, OPEC, with varying degrees of success. Since 1975 America has also distorted it by banning the export of almost all crude oil.

On December 18th Congress voted to put an end to the problem by lifting the 40-year-old export ban as part of an omnibus budget bill. Republicans championed the proposal, which is backed by the oil industry. Reluctant Democrats supported it because in exchange they were able to negotiate an additional five years of tax credits for wind and solar power, which they are keen on. The deal showed a spirit of compromise often absent on Capitol Hill.

The Economist

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