Let's get the good part out of the way: it won't take long. The elimination of the ban on exporting crude oil and gas, dating from the Arab oil crisis of the 1970s, will aid American companies and further our influence on global energy issues. Those opposed to this salutary and long-overdue change include deep-greeniacs who want to "keep it in the ground", the "it" being all fossil fuels no matter the effects on our standard of living or overall economy; the local refiners who benefited from the need to refine the crude here before export; and of course our pals in Russian, Venezuela, Saudi Arabia and Iran, who will now have to actually compete with our oil and NG. OPEC may become a thing of the past now, none too soon.
Now, on to the manifold downsides: from the ridiculous to the slightly-less-ridiculous--harms were dealt out in theory and in very real terms as well:
Well, we (scientists and other people with brains rather than self-serving ideologues) thought we had gotten a pass on genetically-engineered, fast-growing AquaBounty salmon. Fat chance, once the combination of salmon-state protectionists and anti-biotech know-nothings got together. All of a sudden, the labelling of GM-salmon, ruled out by the FDA, came back thanks to Congress;
More suffering for smokers trying to quit, as well as the millions who have quit, by using harm-reduced products such as e-cigarettes and vapor products, who were hoping for the preservation of the "Cole Rider." This proviso would have, if it had survived, moved the "grandfather date" for determining how many man-hours and millions of dollars would have to expended by e-cig companies to provide their PMTAs (pre-market tobacco applications) for allowing their products to remain on the market in the looming post-FDA deeming world. In the accursed "Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act" of 2009, that date for the close-to-rubber stamp approval was (and is) 2/15/2007--meaning that any products introduced after that date must jump through the FDA's strangulating approval process. Meaning ALL e-cig/vapor products, ~none of which were on the market in 2007. For reasons known to the "progressive" Dem. wing, which hates and fears e-cigs at the urging of he CDC and the FDA itself, they prefer to allow the FDA's new regs to ban all these essentially harmless and effective cessation products off the market, and foment these excellent alternatives: A--huge black market in contraband e-cigs and e-liquids, allowing tax-free markets for underage experimenters; B--or takeover of the entire industry by Big Tobacco; C-or, best of all for those politicians and "public health experts" who crave Big Tobacco money, reversion of vapers who successfully quit, back to good old cigarettes. Good job! (Note the recent NIDA study which showed that teens are not being led back into nicotine addiction via e-cigs: most vape for the flavorings and don't even use nicotine; and that the PM of Britain recently gave e-cigs a shout out--in Parliament!
Of course, in exchange for the revocation of the oil export ban, the Obama tax breaks for the continued struggles of sustainable energy industry--solar and wind mainly--were also renewed. Research and development of such energy sources should proceed expeditiously, for sure--and maybe in a decade or two, they will be able to contribute substantially to our energy sector. But now and in the foreseeable, to dismantle our gas, oil and coal-fired energy system and hope! that sustainables can carry us forward is too bizarre to be even termed wishful thinking--it's just crazy. Nothing much for promotion of a real energy miracle, if allowed to blossom: nuclear.
On that topic--if I may digress from the Omnibus bill, briefly -- on the Obama/EPA plan to kill off coal and gradually strangle oil and gas, also known as the "Clean Power Plan": a new Wall St. Journal article exposes the fact that the NRDC staff wrote the CPP and handed it over to the EPA, which dutifully copied and pasted it and Voila! a new, voluminous, counterproductive, expensive, illegal and useless bill appeared. Illegal because its creative interpretation of the 1970/1990 Clean Air Act will not hold water with any objective adjudicator. Useless because even if it is allowed and applied, the temperature rise that might be suppressed thanks to it is barely measurable, when calculated in the best possible light. (Some also object to its "cap-and-trade" tactics that have been voted out of Congress on several occasion--oh but hey! why should the EPA, which runs the country these days, care about the elected officials, when they can just do as they please?! (The NYTimes beat the Wall St. journal to the "NRDC Runs the EPA" story by quite a long time, by the way: “Taking Oil Industry Cues, Environmentalists Drew Emissions Blueprint.”)
Let's not forget that the EPA was found to have violated numerous laws by flogging social media to garner support for their inane "Waters of the US" and "Clean Power Plan" regs.
I'm sure I've forgotten some interesting and important aspects of this latest bill--perhaps I'll add an update when it comes to me, hopefully soon.