WASHINGTON -- Minnesota is among nine states that will be targeted by ads paid for by the petroleum producers ahead of a House vote next week on lifting the crude oil export ban.
The Producers for American Crude Oil Exports is urging Congress to lift the ban on exporting American-produced crude, arguing it could help generate more jobs in the United States. With just a few exceptions, there has been a ban on exporting crude since 1975.
Proponents of lifting the export ban say domestic crude production is significantly higher than it was in the 1970s and it would be a source of jobs and boost wealth across the United States. Opponents say it could spark more flux in the markets and more uncertainty in the United States on gas and heating oil prices. Environmentalists, too, worry it is just more incentive to expand the production of fossil fuels.
Petroleum producers have paid for a six-figure ad buy that stretches in Minnesota's three major markets: the Twin Cities, Fargo and western Minnesota and Duluth. Ads will also run in Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, New Mexico and Texas.
Democratic Rep. Rick Nolan, whose seat is already being heavily targeted by Republicans, said the ads' message was untrue. He is an opponent of lifting the crude export ban.
"This would shut down American oil refineries, putting hundreds, if not thousands, of Americans out of work," he said, in a statement. "And it would reduce oil and gas supplies here in the United States. The only beneficiaries would be the big oiil companies. The losers would be everyone else."