Statement by Principal Deputy Press Secretary Speakes on the Export of Alaskan Oil

October 28, 1985

On the recommendation of his Economic Policy Council, the President has decided to permit the export of a small quantity of Alaskan oil produced at Cook Inlet. This administrative action does not permit export of oil from the North Slope of Alaska, which is a question to be addressed in a Commerce Department study that will be submitted to Congress next April.

This decision is consistent with the administration's market-oriented policy of removing barriers to trade and encouraging others to do likewise. U.S. interests will be well served because of the reduced oil transportation costs associated with shipping oil to Asia rather than to U.S. refining terminals. This will generate higher revenues to producers, thereby generating higher Federal and Alaska State tax revenues. In addition, the incentive to explore and develop oil reserves in the Cook Inlet area will increase. The President, in making his decision, sought nothing in exchange. We have made it clear to our friends in Asia that we would like to see them move more rapidly in opening their markets to U.S. products.

This action has long been recommended by Senator Frank Murkowski, and the President has expressed his utmost appreciation to the Senator for his advice on the issue. Furthermore, the administration will be consulting with Congress to ensure that these benefits to the U.S. are well understood.