A new government report concludes that removing restrictions on crude oil exports wouldn't hurt consumers at the gasoline pump, and may even help them.
The finding is providing ammunition to lawmakers seeking to pass legislation this year to end the restrictions. A Senate panel passed such a measure before Congress adjourned for its August recess. House Republicans are expected to take up the issue this fall.
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The crude oil export ban includes some exceptions and was put into place nearly four decades ago as Congress responded to an oil embargo that sparked high inflation.
The report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration includes numerous caveats but found that petroleum product prices in the United States, including gasoline prices, would be either unchanged or slightly reduced by ending the restrictions.