Publications: Notes at the Margin

Fossil Fuel's Pyrrhic Victory (December 21, 2015)


The US Congress has passed and President Obama signed the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2016. Among other measures, the law repeals of the prohibition on exporting oil from the United States. To get this legislation passed, the Republicans in Congress needed help from the Democrats. In return for this support, the Democrats demanded total capitulation on the future of fossil fuels. Amazingly, the Republicans agreed, and thus the legislation marks the beginning of the end for such fuels in this country.


The oil industry’s budget bill "win" is in truth a loss because the Democrats extracted numerous concessions on renewable fuels and the Obama administration's global warming programs for their support. In exchange, Republicans made it possible for US producers to export crude when market conditions create a surplus here. The rub, however, is that today's low prices assure that no oil will be exported.


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