- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, the leading Republican on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, used a Brookings Institution platform on Tuesday to call for the president to reverse course on crude oil import bans.

Her call carries special weight because she’s the highest-ranking member of Congress so far to push for the ban’s repeal, the Energy Guardian reported.

“I am calling for ending the prohibition on crude oil and condensate exports,” the Alaskan senator said, the outlet reported. And she backed her rhetoric with a vow to act.

The Energy Guardian reported she said she would introduce a bill to repeal the prohibition – or at least soften its provisions – if President Obama failed to act.

Big oil wants the repeal. And the White House has opened doors to talks.

Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said in December that the White House might review the ban, to deal with recent booms in domestic oil production.

Moreover, Ms. Murkowski offered the Obama administration a compromise: She said the White House could bypass an outright repeal if it wanted by using the Commerce Department to approve exceptions for oil stores that can’t be sold on U.S. soil, the Energy Guardian reported.

• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com.

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