A Free-Market Energy Blog


Posts from June 2015

Oil Export Regulation: 1970s History (Part II)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- June 30, 2015

The time has come to end the long debate over national energy policy in the United States and to put ourselves solidly on the road to energy independence. … This bill is only the beginning.”

– President Gerald Ford, December 22, 1975, upon signing the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975 into law.

With oil shortages in the 1970s, exports of domestic oil became of acute political interest. Regulation was accomplished under two laws: the Export Administration Act of 1973 and the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975. The rise of Alaskan North Slope Oil, in addition, inspired specific export regulation that not only reflected concerns about domestic supply but special privilege for United States shipping interests. [1]

Export Administration Act

With first sales of crude and product transactions in U.S. …

Oil Export Regulation: Pre-1970s History (Part I)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- June 29, 2015

As the long history of import regulation suggests (The U.S. was a net exporter until the post-World War II period), governmental concern over petroleum exports has been relatively infrequent.  Exports generally have been welcomed to market abundant domestic supply.

There have been exceptions, however.  In wartime, domestic supply has been licensed to guide its distribution in channels deemed proper by authorities; in peacetime, export control has been part of a wider regulatory purpose.

World War I

In World War I, the Lever Act gave Presidential authority to license exports pursuant to broad wartime powers over petroleum distribution. Licenses were required as part of the U.S. Fuel Administration’s inaugural planning effort with petroleum.

World War II

During World War II, export matters replaced prewar concerns about imports. The Lend-Lease program featured oil exports to the Allies at taxpayer-subsidized rates.…

Export-Import Bank Reauthorization: Remember Enron (Part II)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- June 25, 2015

“America deserves an international trade policy that is based on free-market mechanisms, not paying foreign companies to buy exports from large corporations with political connections. We, the undersigned organizations, urge you to oppose reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank.”

– Christine Harbin Hanson (Americans for Prosperity), “Growing Coalition To Congress: End The Export-Import Bank,”  April 21, 2015.

“Enron was a political colossus with a unique range of rent-seeking and subsidy-receiving operations. Ken Lay’s announced visions for the company—to become the world’s first natural-gas major, then the world’s leading energy company, and, finally, the world’s leading company—relied on more than free-market entrepreneurship. They were premised on employing political means to catch up with, and outdistance, far larger and more-established corporations.

– Robert Bradley, “Enron: The Perils of Interventionism,” EconLib, September 3, 2012.

Export-Import Bank: A Brief Pre-Enron Energy History (Part I)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- June 24, 2015

Pope Francis on Climate Change: An Encyclical Failure

By James Rust -- June 23, 2015

AWED Energy & Environmental Newsletter: June 22, 2015

By <a class="post-author" href="/about#john-droz">John Droz, Jr.</a> -- June 22, 2015

Exxon Mobil Rejects Crony Energy (Tillerson channels Lee Raymond)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- June 18, 2015

‘Oil, Gas, and Government: the U.S. Experience’ (introduction to a 1996 classic)

By Robert Murphy -- June 17, 2015

Ten Reasons Kemper Is Bad for Consumers (Haley Barbour, Mississippi Power boondoggle)

By Steve Wilson -- June 16, 2015

Big Wind’s Big Barriers (examining DOE’s fantasy scenario for a faulty technology)

By <a class="post-author" href="/about#llinowes">Lisa Linowes</a> -- June 15, 2015