At an energy conference sponsored by the U.S. Energy Information Administration this week, all the talk centered around the prospect of exporting U.S. oil. After the U.S. Commerce Department allowed two Texas companies to sell minimally processed oil overseas, many saw this as a watershed moment for the domestic oil producers.
"What we have now has changed the world," John Auers of engineering firm Turner, Mason & Co. said at the energy conference, per the Wall Street Journal.
The United States has been talking about energy independence for a long time but as the country starts exporting oil for the first time in 40 years, Charlie Drevna, president of the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers says what’s happening in the marketplace is actually a little different. According to Drevna, while we may start exporting a bit more oil, nothing’s really changed since the days of Nixon. What the U.S. has been doing well for many years now is exporting refined oil products.
“Are we exporting gasoline and diesel from refineries mostly from the gulf coast? Absolutely,” he notes in the attached video. “What we're seeing is our refineries are able to compete globally, we're able to service the needs of the American consumer and export additional gasoline and diesel that’s not needed here, but keeps those refineries running, keeps those jobs there in the gulf coast and other regions, and that helps with our balance of trade."
When it comes to domestic energy independence, Drevna feels we need to tackle a big myth first. “We have to dispel the rumor that we are energy scarce nation. We are anything but.” With resources coming on-line every day, it’s not the product that is the issue.
The real obstacle that’s hurting both our product and delivery system capabilities in Drevna’s eyes is our own federal government. “We need a holistic approach, we need the Keystone XL pipeline permitted. It’s just sheer lunacy to keep kicking that can down the political road on that,” he says.
In addition, Drevna feels we need to open up our own resources which the federal government has “artificially” locked up. “As a nation we complain about OPEC, and how they can turn the dial up or down and create a surplus on oil flow; well we have our own OPEC here, it’s called the federal government,” he concludes.
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