Pros and Cons of Exporting Alaskan North Slope Oil

NSIAD-83-69: Published: Sep 26, 1983. Publicly Released: Sep 26, 1983.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the key perceived advantages and disadvantages of exporting Alaskan North Slope oil as presented by the proponents and opponents of such exports.

GAO noted that, aside from the distinct advantages and disadvantages of exporting Alaskan oil, proponents and opponents agree that exports will create transportation cost savings, increase federal and state revenues, and increase Alaskan oil producers' profits. It is also generally agreed that U.S. domestic consumers will receive no immediate benefit from the exports. However, experts disagree on the amount of the cost savings and the economic effect on the maritime industry. Concerning foreign relations, Alaskan oil exports would likely be favored by Japan while they could lead to serious implications and unexpected changes in the economic and political situation in Panama. Mexico would undoubtedly be affected by such exports, and it would oppose any effort by the United States to disrupt its current petroleum policies with Japan for the sake of the Alaskan exports.

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