John, other things equal - when oil prices go down, consumption goes up. According to the Washington Post there is widespread agreement among analysts that it would depress international prices:
In fact, a Government Accountability Office review released in July noted wide agreement among analysts that allowing crude exports would tend to decrease international oil prices, which is the way to depress gasoline prices. That is why analysts counterintuitively predict that lifting the export ban would increase U.S. crude oil prices by $2 to $8 per barrel but reduce U.S. gasoline prices by 1.5 cents to 13 cents per gallon.
Using a marvelously twisted bit of logic, they then suggest lifting the export ban could be good for the environment:
There could be an opportunity for a productive deal here: Adding energy research funding, efficiency programs or, in an ideal world, a charge on carbon dioxide emissions to the package could balance its possible effects on the environment.
Hmm. Kind of like "cutting off one's nose to spite one's face."
Hard to know exactly how much prices would go down internationally, but let's face it: this is a move by oil companies to open vast international markets to fracked (aka, "tight") American oil, which now makes up half of U.S. production - in essence, selling out tomorrow's environment for today's cash. It's reckless, perverse, and irresponsible. We know that oil companies don't give a damn about the environment; they don't give a damn about U.S. "energy security" either:
"What isn’t possible is that global oil giants like ExxonMobil are motivated to help the American people.
Lee Raymond was CEO of ExxonMobil until 2005. According to Steve Coll's book Private Empire, when Raymond was asked if ExxonMobil would build more refineries in the U.S. to help America he replied, “I’m not a U.S. company and I don’t make decisions based on what’s good for the U.S.”
Not surprisingly, that bit doesn’t make it into the ad campaigns."