Lifting the crude oil export ban will help reverse the downturn in employment and business activity experienced by suppliers of equipment, products and services to crude oil drilling operations, a prominent pump manufacturer told a U.S. House Committee recently. Mark Kreinbihl, Group President of Gorman-Rupp Company of Mansfield, Ohio testified to the House Subcommittee on Energy and Power in favor of a bill under consideration that would repeal the 1970s-era prohibition on exporting domestically-produced crude oil.
Testifying for his company and as a member of the Energy Equipment and Infrastructure Alliance (EEIA), a shale energy supply chain trade group, Kreinbihl demonstrated the close correlation of his companys pump business to the U.S. oil and gas drilling rig count. From a point in late 2014, the US rig count plunged from about 1,800 to 800, while at the same time our orders have followed the rig count down, declining by 40% from late 2014 through this June, he noted. Gorman-Rupps pumps are used extensively in hydraulic fracturing-related crude oil production operations.
Krienbihl also described how his company was forced to reduce workforce through non-replacement of retirees, cuts in overtime and temporary employment. While my numbers may not make the news, the aggregate of all similar stories throughout the country has a profoundly important impact on American workers, and the total U.S. jobs and growth picture, he said. Lifting the ban will help turn that around, he told the committee, noting that I put my companys example forward as typical of what is happening in tens of thousands of energy supply chain companies throughout the United States.
The Energy and Power Subcommittee is the committee responsible for moving the legislation through the House of Representatives. The bills sponsor, Texas Congressman Joe Barton noted after the hearing that he has been joined by nearly one hundred bill co-sponsors, including a substantial number of both Republicans and Democrats.
In connection with the hearing, EEIA coordinated a letter in support of lifting the export ban, co-signed by twenty-three national trade associations and two major construction labor unions, representing energy supply chain industries and workers. The letter was incorporated into the Committees official hearing record.