Congress passed a more than $1 trillion spending bill Friday that includes the repeal of a 40-year ban on American oil exports.
One expert said, eventually, the move will be a good one for Oklahoma’s slumping oil business.
Right now we are seeing some of the lowest prices in years at gas pumps, and they jump up and down, but experts said Friday’s move could eventually stabilize them.
The 40-year crude oil exporting drought is over. The U.S. House of Representatives and Senate voted it through and President Obama signed the spending bill to allow it.
"It's a big day. It's a good day for all of us I think, and, hopefully, for the state of Oklahoma," said Jerry Simmons with the Domestic Energy Producers Alliance.
"We have worked for a couple years now, trying to make this make sense to the policy makers, to understand how silly it is that we’re stockpiling oil that we’re producing and we can’t sell it," he said.
As oil production gets more sophisticated, oil production in American and Oklahoma thrives.
Being able to, one day soon, compete with Russia and Saudi Arabia on a world market, Simmons expects to see a boost to the U.S. and Oklahoma economy.
"Hopefully, we will increase drilling to meet that worldwide supply that we are now going to be in the mix, and, hopefully, that will create more jobs here, and again, bring some of those folks, like you said, some folks that have been laid off, back to work," Simmons said.
He said America already has the infrastructure to send out the oil, so some of the first to be put to work are those working on the gulf, west and east coast, where the ships capable of moving the oil are.
But, Simmons cautions, these changes won't happen overnight, but likely within the next year.
"We don't like these spikes that we go through in this industry and have over time. So, if we can get a flatter line, it's going to be good for everybody," he said.
It may take a while for oil workers and the pubic to see the full impact, but Simmons said drivers shouldn't worry about there not being enough oil or worry about prices going up.