NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- I was talking to Jim Cramer today about the export ban still in place for domestic crude oil and whether 2014 would be the year when it ends. I think it will be.
There are very few good arguments for continuing with the crude oil export ban. The United States places no restrictions on the export of gasoline or distillate products, both of which are made from crude oil. There are only very limited restrictions on other domestic natural resources like corn, wheat and coal. So why should crude oil be different?
The ban was born in the mid-1970s during the OPEC embargo and was designed to protect a critical resource under the control of outside suppliers. But with ever-increasing domestic production of crude and imports from friendly Canada and Mexico increasing, the necessity of an export ban is no longer clear.
Opening domestic crude oil to global markets would have instant impact on oil stocks, helping those who are focused on domestic exploration and production and hurting domestic refining stocks.
One place it would likely have limited impact is with the price of gasoline at the pumps, an often heard argument for keeping the export ban in place. Gasoline prices, even here at home, are already tethered to higher global crude prices. Releasing crude for export would do little to increase those prices.
I talk more about the possibility of ending the export ban and other forces who will be involved in this very important debate with Jim in the video above.
At the time of publication the author had no position in any of the stocks mentioned.
This article represents the opinion of a contributor and not necessarily that of TheStreet or its editorial staff.