House Votes to Lift 40-Year Ban on Oil Exports, Obstacles Remain

By Clifford Krauss, The New York Times.

The House of Representatives voted on Friday to reverse a 40-year-old ban on oil exports, giving major oil companies a political victory at a time when they are suffering from lower oil prices and falling profits.

The House vote of 261-159 included 26 Democrats in favor of the legislation. But even though the legislation has gained momentum in recent weeks, it continues to face a major challenge in the Senate as well as the threat of a White House veto.

Still, the House vote makes it more likely that the export ban, which was enacted in the 1970s when the American economy was threatened by international oil embargoes and falling domestic production, will become an important issue in the presidential election campaign.