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 US oil export ban lifted as Obama signs 2016 spending bill

The U.S. Congress voted on Friday, Dec.18, to repeal the 40-year-old ban on exporting U.S. crude oil.

President Obama signed the bill into law on Friday, Censor.NET reports citing Reuters.

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The Senate, on a 65-33 vote, approved lifting the ban and providing five-year extensions of tax breaks to boost renewable energy development as part of a $1.1 trillion government spending and tax relief bill that President Barack Obama quickly signed into law. The House of Representatives passed legislation containing the energy provisions earlier in the day by a 316-113 tally.

Republicans championed the proposal, which is backed by the oil industry. Democrats supported it because in exchange they were able to negotiate an additional five years of tax credits for wind and solar power, which they are keen on. The deal showed a spirit of compromise often absent on Capitol Hill.

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Congress, concerned about U.S. dependence on imported oil, imposed the crude oil export ban after the Arab oil embargo of the early 1970s that sent gasoline prices soaring and contributed to runaway inflation. Arab members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) imposed the embargo following the U.S. decision to re-supply the Israeli military during the 1973 Arab-Israeli war.
 
 
 
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