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Friday, January 31, 2014

CAP Selectively Quotes Reports to Bolster Oil Export Ban -- Republicans call out liberal group for misrepresenting Congressional Research Service findings -- By Lachlan Markay, The Washington Free Beacon

Oil pumps in California / APRepublicans criticized the left wing Center for American Progress at a Thursday Senate hearing for releasing a report that they say misrepresents the findings of studies on crude oil exports.

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources hearing explored the economic implications of the nation’s ban on oil exports. Proponents of the ban say it keeps American energy prices down. Opponents say it needlessly restricts economic growth.

Daniel Weiss, director of climate strategy at the Center for American Progress Action Fund, made the case on Thursday for keeping the export ban in place.

“Lifting the ban on crude oil exports could squander [the country’s] new energy security and price stability,” Weiss told the committee.

He also coauthored a recent CAP report making the same case. That report misrepresented a number of facts in pushing to maintain the export ban, committee Republicans said.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R., Alaska) disputed its claims regarding oil prices in her home state after the export ban was lifted for Alaskan crude in 1996.

“After Congress eliminated the ban, gasoline prices rose in that area,” CAP’s report states. “This experience suggests that lifting the crude oil export ban could similarly raise gasoline prices.”

Murkowski pointed out that the 2008 Congressional Research Service cited in CAP’s own report does not actually support the case for continuing the national export ban.

“It’s important that we make sure that we’ve got the full quotes [from the report] in context,” she said.

The full quotes tell a different story.

“Restricting U.S. oil exports would not lead to lower prices for products such as gasoline and diesel fuel,” the report stated. In fact, it noted, “upward pressure might be placed on oil prices” by export restrictions.
Murkowski said that lifting the export ban would bring down gasoline prices.

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