Clinton Signs Measure Repealing Ban on the Export of Alaskan Oil : Energy: New law is expected to create thousands of jobs as refiners turn to California crude.

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

President Clinton signed a bill Tuesday that repeals a 22-year-old ban on exporting Alaskan oil, a move that could create thousands of jobs in Californian and Alaskan oil industries while resulting in higher prices for U.S. oil.

The ban had been imposed in response to the 1973 oil crisis.

A White House statement said lifting the ban on exporting Alaska North Slope crude oil was one of the Administration’s top energy policy priorities. “It’s good fiscal policy, sensible economic policy and, most important, sound energy policy,” according to a statement from press secretary Mike McCurry.

The White House statement said a Department of Energy study last year concluded that removing the oil export ban would mean up to 25,000 more jobs for American workers, particularly in California and Alaska.


The study also found that it would benefit U.S. oil producers, increase international trade and result in up to $2 billion in increased federal, state and local royalty and tax payments, the statement said.

The new law is unlikely to affect the net supply of oil to California, which relies on Alaskan crude for about 45% of its total oil supply. Indeed, the law is likely to mean that state refiners will turn more to California crude oil, creating more oil field jobs here.

The Department of Energy has estimated that lifting the ban could boost crude oil prices in California by $1.20 to $1.60 a barrel. But it’s unlikely such prices will translate into higher prices at the pump, since most of the companies that refine California crude oil also produce it.

In addition to lifting the oil export ban, the bill signed by Clinton also gives relief from federal royalty payments for oil production in deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico that may not otherwise be developed, and authorizes sale of the assets of the Alaska Power Administration, which markets power from two federal hydropower stations.

The White House statement said this meant creation of nearly $10 billion in new investment in the U.S. energy sector, especially in Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi. It said it would also contribute an extra $200 million in bonus and royalty payments to the U.S. Treasury.