Bloomberg Would Not Ban U.S. Oil Exports in Climate Plan, Unlike Rival Democrats

Media billionaire Michael Bloomberg would allow the United States to keep exporting crude oil overseas if he is elected president, his campaign says, unlike his top Democratic rivals who have pledged to ban oil exports immediately to fight climate change.

The stance could help the former New York City mayor gain votes in states like Texas, New Mexico and Louisiana that have benefited from booming U.S. oil exports since the Obama administration lifted a 40-year ban in 2015.

But it risks upsetting the Democratic party’s progressive wing, which is pushing for sweeping measures to quickly reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Texas, one of the biggest U.S. states, is among the 14 voting in the March 3 Super Tuesday Democratic primary process. Its ports handle the lion’s share of America’s roughly 3 million barrels of daily exports, valued at around $65 billion in 2019.

Bloomberg’s campaign told Reuters that while he has an aggressive overall policy to fight climate change, he believes re-imposing the export ban would hurt the economy without providing climate benefits, since lost U.S. shipments would be replaced by oil from producers like Saudi Arabia and Russia.

“Mike will not reinstate the ban,” Bloomberg spokeswoman Daphne Wang told Reuters in an email.

“After President Obama lifted the ban, for the first time in decades, the world became less dependent on Middle East and Russian oil and gas. Mike would be reluctant to take actions that could upset that balance.”

Bloomberg’s position makes him an outlier among Democratic presidential hopefuls.

Progressive candidates like Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, and billionaire Tom Steyer have vowed to re-instate the ban if elected as part of broader plans to transition the U.S. economy away from fossil fuels.

Other candidates like former Vice President Joe Biden, Senator Amy Klobuchar, and former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg have yet to speak publicly on the issue and their campaigns declined repeated requests for comment.

The ban was initially imposed in the 1970s when the United States produced much less crude oil than it consumed. Since then, the country has become a top global oil producer thanks to a technology-led drilling boom that began more than a decade ago, a trend Republican President Donald Trump has embraced.

Trump has repeatedly downplayed the threat of global warming and voiced doubt about the science that shows climate change is driven by human use of fossil fuels.

Environmental groups like Greenpeace and Oil Change International have been lobbying Democratic hopefuls hard in support of reinstating the crude oil export ban, saying this could cut emissions by as much as 73 to 165 million metric tons of CO2-equivalent each year – the equivalent to closing between 19 and 42 coal-fired power plants.

“Reinstating the ban would also send a strong signal to energy investors that the fossil fuel era is drawing to a close,” Oil Change International said in a policy briefing with reporters last month. 

But some analysts are not convinced the move would have an impact. They suggest that a more effective approach would be policies targeting reductions in fossil fuel demand, like a carbon tax or renewable energy mandates.

“You are just shifting where the production is coming from and transferring revenue, jobs and security to a foreign country,” said Amy Meyers Jaffe, a fellow at the Council of Foreign Relations.

(Editing by Richard Valdmanis and David Gregorio)

Responses

  1. The absolute stupidity of eliminating fossil fuel production is clearly a narrow-minded, childish dream by those anti-capitalists who are still being carried around and supported by their parents’ employment. Not one of the morons has yet figured out and outlined what type of transportation will need to be invented (beside walking) to get from Point A to Point B (NO motor vehicles, motorcycles or bicycles – maybe hang gliders on windy days?); how farmers would produce food to sell (NO tractors, horses, cows, hogs, chickens); how any food will be delivered to stores (NO trucks, planes, ships or trains); how those with medical emergencies (heart attacks, gun shot wounds, broken limbs, etc.) will get to a medical facility for treatment(NO ambulances). With that absurdity comes the millions and millions of jobs World-wide which will be completely eliminated since needed goods (clothing, appliances, medicine) can no longer be produced. It’s easy to see absolutely NO thought or planning went into and came before the demands of a few uneducated, low-IQ Socialists who have a disdain for capitalism.

  2. No better way to bankrupt the United States and destroy the World economy than to ban oil exports and use. WHAT do these Socialists/Communists/Marxists use for brains?

    1. Please consult with the 17 year old indoctrinated (uneducated “expert”) kid from Sweden and her resident parrot: Always Confused/Addle-Headed One.

      P.S. The US emission radiations were DOWN 2.9% – 140 million tons -during 2019 while the Asian emissions were UP 80% even though the US was NOT a signatory on the Paris Climate Accord. Looks like the “climate alarmists” need to go bark up someone else’s tree.

  3. Gee, could it be that Bloomberg is a businessman first and foremost? Could it be that he intends on running this country more as a business than the current Dem leadership advocates?

    Off with his head!

    1. Therefore you don’t care about the future of and caring for our environment. You are willing to sacrafice it for short-term profits.

      This threat to us is real. Even Confused James The Projectionist can confirm that his ankles can get wet on some Miami streets. (He won’t but he can.) Ignoring this threat is only going to exacerbate it.

      1. Those “short term profits” run the US and World economy. Besides it has been repeatedly proven by REAL scientists the so-called “climate change” is a hoax invented by the Socialists and Marxists like AOC

          1. If they are from your gene pool, maybe you should forget about procreating to reduce the chance of there being more idiots on this Earth.

            IF YOU are unable to see and understand the economic advantage throughout the entire World of fossil fuel production and usage, then you’re dumber than you look. #Moron.

      2. When did you develop the ability to read minds?

        I only stated my opinion of how Bloomberg may intend to run the country if President.
        It makes sense too given his background. Nowhere did I say it was right or wrong.

        1. No, your snide “off with his head” signals that you are in agreement with the notion of pumping more greenhouse gases into our atmosphere.

          If you were against doing that, then you would be in favor of keeping the stuff in the ground rather than exporting it around the world.

          1. This is what man is doing. Look at the second chart in particular.

            “https://www.sciencealert.com/it-s-official-atmospheric-co2-just-exceeded-415-ppm-for-first-time-in-human-history/amp”

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