While consumers benefit from lower prices, the current six-year low for oil prices represents “grim times in the oil patch,” ABA President and CEO Frank Keating said on CNN today. If prices stay low, “there can be real calamity” for cities and states in oil-producing areas, he added.
Keating emphasized that banks connected to the oil and gas industry are in good shape and that regulators are closely focused on oil and gas-related risk management. “Banks are OK right now,” he said. “The lending community was careful not to over-lend at prices that were anticipated to be high for a long time.”
He also urged Congress and President Obama to lift the ban on petroleum exports to help stabilize the global oil market and strengthen the competitiveness of U.S. oil and gas. “You’ve got all this genius in the energy business in United States, so why don’t we embrace it for what it can do to help our economy and help the world.”