I’ve written before about the good reasons to lift the outdated ban on exporting crude oil. Today, there is further evidence of the value of oil exports from a new study courtesy of the liberal Brookings Institution called “Changing Markets: Economic Opportunities from Lifting the U.S. Ban on Crude Oil Exports,” by Charles Ebinger and Heather Greenley in conjunction with National Economic Research Associates (NERA).

The study provides eight significant findings, including one counterintuitive stunner, namely that exporting crude oil would lower gas prices at home.

Lifting the ban actually lowers gasoline prices by increasing the total amount of crude supply. In the reference case, the decrease in gasoline price is estimated to be $0.09 per gallon in 2015. If oil supplies are more abundant than currently expected, the decline in gasoline prices will be larger ($0.07 to $0.12 per gallon) and will continue throughout the model horizon (2015 – 2035).

Got that? When there is more crude oil, whether it is added to the world supply from the US or elsewhere, the price of gasoline in the US goes down. And the more oil we pump the lower our gas prices can be expected to decline. As the study concludes, “U.S. gas prices could decline by $0.09 per gallon in 2015 if the ban is lifted entirely.”

Of course, potentially lower cost for gas isn’t the only good reason to lift the ban. Indeed, as the Middle East become ever more turbulent, and we watch the reoccupation of Ukraine by Russia, the foreign policy implications of exporting crude oil take on greater immediacy. The good news is that the Brookings scholars see a superior influence for America on the world stage.

Permitting the export of crude oil will enhance U.S. global power in several ways, including: reinforcing the credibility of U.S. free and open market advocacy; allowing for the establishment of secure supply relationships between American producers and foreign consumers; increasing flexibility to export crude to others to address supply disruptions; empowering another non-OPEC nation to meet the growing energy demands from countries in Asia, as well as other rapidly developing nations; shifting oil rents to the U.S. from less reliable suppliers; and providing our own hemisphere with a competitive source of crude supply. Most importantly, allowing crude oil exports will increase revenues to domestic producers helping to maximize the scope of the production boom, boosting American economic power that undergirds U.S. national power and global influence.

The US could be helpful to Ukraine and the rest of Europe if it leveraged oil exports to pressure Russia to back off its expansionist agenda. Since Europe is currently so reliant on Russia for natural gas, the fact that lifting the ban could provide “increasing flexibility to export crude to others to address supply disruptions,” would help shore up opposition to Russian threats on the continent.

We are currently suffering from a lack of non-military options in terms of projecting US power abroad and protecting US interests. It also doesn’t help that our Commander-in-Chief doesn’t seem to have the stomach for conflict. But as we wait for the clock to tick down to the next presidential election, lifting the crude oil export ban would provide a win domestically and internationally.