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Media Contact:

Rebekah Staub, Permian-Gulf Communications Manager, rstaub@earthworks.org

WASHINGTON — The Department of Energy reported Tuesday that U.S. crude oil exports averaged 3.99 million barrels per day (b/d), a record high for the first half of a year since 2015, when the ban on most crude oil exports from the United States was repealed. Emissions from the production, transportation, and exportation of domestically produced crude oil fuels the climate crisis and impacts minority, low-income communities from the Permian Basin to the Gulf Coast who are already overburdened with existing hazardous pollutant facilities and pipelines.

Existing Gulf Coast export terminals are capable of exporting more than 60% of U.S. oil production, yet companies are pushing to build new offshore export terminals that can load bigger ships quicker, generating bigger profits for exporters and incentivizing faster production growth in the Permian. The spread of pipelines, export terminals, tank farms and petrochemical facilities is fueled by global demand, not domestic use. 

President Biden has promised to reduce emissions and protect environmental justice communities, yet his administration continues to approve new fossil fuel projects like the Sea Port Oil Terminal (SPOT), a massive new offshore oil export terminal that would emit more than 300 million tons of greenhouse gasses into the air each year on the Texas Gulf Coast. Earlier this year Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) reintroduced legislation to amend the Energy Policy and Conservation Act and ban exporting American crude oil and liquified methane gas (LNG) abroad.

Statement from Gwen Jones, resident of the displaced East End community in Freeport, Texas:

“Biden can’t keep claiming to care about climate and environmental justice while allowing more of these projects that put our lives at risk. Prove to us that you will prioritize the health and safety of people and our planet over fossil fuel industry profits.”

Statement from Kelsey Crane, senior policy advocate at Earthworks:

“This administration continues to act in the interest of billionaire oil executives, not the people who have borne the brunt of the oil and gas industry’s pollution and safety violations for decades. If President Biden is serious about his promises to act on climate and protect environmental justice communities, he must stop the buildout of fossil fuel export terminals in the U.S.”