House OKs lifting 40-year-old US ban on oil exports
WASHINGTON - Defying a White House veto threat, the Republican-controlled House has approved a bill to lift a 40-year U.S. ban on crude oil exports.
The House approved the bill on a 261-159 vote.
The White House calls the measure unnecessary and argues a decision on ending the ban should be made by the commerce secretary.
Lawmakers who support the bill say an ongoing boom in oil and gas drilling has made the 1970s-era restrictions obslete.
Republican Rep Fred Upton of Michigan is chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Upton says studies show lifting the export ban would lower prices at the pump, create jobs and boost the economy.
Opponents say the bill would mainly benefit big oil companies.
The measure goes now to the Senate.
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