By Bob Adelmann
Since the 1970s ban on exporting crude oil was lifted last December, the oil industry has given statists and anti-growth politicians a lesson in free markets: exports increased seven times their previous levels in just the first three months of 2016. And this in the face of an economy that is still suffering from the dregs of the Great Recession.
This was predicted by IHS (Information Handling Services), located near Denver, two years ago when the group stated that lifting the ban would allow crude exports to soar, resulting in all manner of economic benefits, both direct and indirect.
Flying in the face of objections (from those who either don’t, or refuse to, understand free market economics) that lifting the ban would raise the price of gasoline, IHS instead said it expected gas prices to drop as much as eight cents a gallon and put nearly a million people back to work in the oil patch.
The reason is simple: When markets are opened, it increases demand. When demand increases, new investment floods in, hoping to take advantage of the opportunity. In the oil patch, this means greater production of energy products, which over time lowers prices. . . .
If the lesson being taught by lifting the crude oil export ban is learned by enough politicians, the rest is easy: Lift similar restrictions on the export of coal and natural gas (in liquefied form, LNG).