Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) is leading the way in calling for the United States to end restrictions on the exporting of oil, the Wall Street Journal reports. The ban on the exportation of oil from the United States dates back to the 1970s, when fears over the looming energy crisis caused the government to institute the measure. With gasoline prices going through the roof, and shortages occurring at gas stations throughout the country, it seemed like a logical step to keep as many fossil fuels as possible within U.S. borders.
However, in today’s economic landscape, much has changed. Production by entities such as OPEC is not as dominant of a force on the world scene. Domestic production of oil and natural gas have both soared. New technologies are allowing for the extraction of oil from layers of shale rock, and plans exist for arctic wells that can withstand both extreme cold and roaming icebergs.
Exxon believes that these conditions warrant lifting the ban, which it argues is both outdated and actually hinders the American economy. By allowing the exportation of oil, additional jobs could be created in the domestic fossil fuel industry, the company contends. Already, there are contracts to export chilled natural gas to countries with which the U.S. has no free trade agreements in place.