The topic of U.S. crude oil exports heated up on Tuesday as Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski and API President and CEO Jack Gerard gave speeches touting removal of the long-standing ban on selling oil abroad. The discussion drew pushback from Valero Energy Corp., whose spokesman Bill Day came out publicly against lifting the ban, which was put in place during the 1973 OPEC oil embargo. Some refining companies who do not produce oil are opposed to easing restrictions on oil exports due to the potential for price increases on domestic supplies, which have become cheaper in recent years due to increased production. Day said “it makes more sense” to keep domestic supplies at home where they can be refined into products that can be freely sold abroad. Observers don’t expect much movement within Congress on the ban this year due to the upcoming midterm elections.