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After 40-year ban, U.S. starts exporting crude oil

America is wasting little time getting back into the oil exporting business.

Just weeks after Congress lifted a 40-year ban on exporting oil, the first shipments of the black stuff left U.S. ports for Europe.

The first freely-traded shipments of U.S. crude are symbolic of the country’s newfound role as a leading producer of oil. America’s entry into the world market can also be viewed with relief by those worried about potential supply disruptions. After all, many big oil producers are located in volatile parts of the world susceptible to geopolitical shocks.

“The fact that producers have free access to the global market will make it easier for U.S. supply to respond to disruptions around the world,” said Jason Borduff, a former energy adviser to President Obama who is currently a professor at Columbia University.