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White House says opposes legislative action on lifting crude oil ban

A crude oil train moves past the loading rack at the Eighty-Eight Oil LLC's transloading facility in Ft. Laramie, Wyoming July 15, 2014. REUTERS/Rick Wilking

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Obama administration continues to oppose legislative action to lift the 40-year-old ban on U.S. crude oil exports, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said on Thursday.

“We continue to oppose legislative action like that ... We believe that it’s unnecessary for Congress to take that step primarily because there’s authority that already rests with the Executive Branch to make that decision,” Earnest said at a White House briefing.

Ending the ban has been one of the thorny issues delaying a deal being negotiated in the U.S. Congress for a $1.15 trillion funding bill to pay for government operations through September 2016.