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Collapsing crude prices have given oil producers a new argument for ending a 39-year-old U.S. ban on exports. With U.S. output at a 31-year high and imports at the lowest level since 1995, producers seeking the best possible price for crude are straining at having to keep sales at home. Removing the ban could erase an imbalance between U.S. and foreign crude prices by expanding the market for shale oil. West Texas Intermediate oil prices fell 10 percent the day after the OPEC decision was announced.The Government Accountability Office, Congress's investigative arm, in an October report concluded that exports may lower pump prices by as much as 13 cents a gallon, even as they raise U.S. oil prices.Many in Congress are awaiting an analysis from the Energy Information Administration, which collects and analyzes energy data, on the tie between U.S. gasoline prices and global oil markets.
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