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The Case for Modernizing America’s Crude Oil and Natural Gas Export Licensing Systems

February 21, 2013 in Economics

Revolutionary extraction technologies have helped increase the supply of fossil fuels in the United States, driving down prices, spurring economic activity, and potentially reversing the longtime status of the United States as a net energy importer to a significant exporter. Impeding that transition are outdated federal regulations—in particular discretionary export licensing systems for natural gas and crude oil—that restrict exports, distort domestic energy prices, deter investment, and encourage graft. In a new paper, Cato scholar Scott Lincicome provides a basic roadmap for reforming our disjointed, anachronistic, export license systems to properly reflect the new energy landscape.

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