From The Boston Globe:
WASHINGTON—Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, touted by GOP presidential candidate John McCain as his expert on energy, seemed to have problems Thursday explaining whether the government bans oil exports — especially from her state’s North Slope fields.
A questioner at a town hall-style meeting in Wisconsin said he had heard that at least 75 percent of the oil drilled in Alaska was being sold to China and said, if true, he would like to know why.
“No. It’s not 75 percent of our oil being exported,” Palin said, suggesting some of Alaska’s oil, in fact, may be going abroad but not that much.
“In fact,” she added, “Congress is pretty strict on, um, export bans of oil and gas especially.”
No Alaska oil has been exported since 2004, and little if any since 2000, according to the Energy Information Administration and the Congressional Research Service.
And Congress has never imposed outright bans on oil exports. Congress prohibited exports of Alaska oil in 1973 when the Alaska oil pipeline was built. But that ban was lifted in 1996 when there were large volumes of Alaska oil coming down from the North Slope and U.S. demand was soft.
The Alaska ban has never been reinstated.
Between 1996 and 2004, about 95 million barrels of North Slope oil, roughly 2.7 percent of Alaska’s production, was exported to South Korea, Japan, China and Taiwan, according to the Energy Information Administration.
There have been little or no oil exports since 2000, according to the Congressional Research Service. The EIA said there have been no Alaska oil exports since 2004.
The United States exports a relatively small amount of oil and petroleum production as Palin acknowledged as part of her answer, which largely focused on the need for more domestic drilling.
“It’s not a huge portion of any domestic supply being exported,” Palin said toward the end of her response, and seemed to contradict her earlier view that Congress bans exports.