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Crude export negotiations under way in Washington

Lawmakers in Washington are pushing a tax break for oil refiners as part of a compromise allowing unfettered crude-oil exports for the first time in 40 years.

Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., proposed a tax credit of up to $3 a barrel to independent refiners that would be harmed if Congress abolishes U.S. crude-export restrictions. A separate proposal would increase the manufacturing tax credit refiners can collect. Critics say the idea would double-up benefits to the oil industry, when Congress should instead be taking steps to curb the production and use of the fuel.

“This would be a major giveaway to the oil industry at the same time the rest of the world is working diligently to forge a deal to combat climate change,” Lena Moffitt, Washington-based director of Sierra Club’s Beyond Dirty Fuels Campaign, said Friday. “We need to be moving away from, and not underwriting, fossil fuels.”

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