By Valerie Volcovici, Timothy Gardner and Meeyoung Cho WASHINGTON/SEOUL (Reuters) - Washington is facing growing international pressure to ease its long standing ban on crude oil exports, with South Korea and Mexico joining the European Union in pressing the case for U.S. South Korean President Park Geun-hye told a visiting U.S.
Congressman from Texas has come out in full support of the United States lifting the 40-year old ban on crude oil exports, putting him at odds with fellow House Republicans wary of weighing in on the controversial issue. Rep. Joe Barton, who until now has maintained a relatively neutral public stance on a topic that has divided Republican members of the House energy and commerce committee, told Reuters in a statement that the time was right for the United States to overhaul its long-standing restrictions on exporting crude oil. It is time to change our laws to match this new reality," said Barton, who represents Texas' sixth Congressional district just southwest of Dallas, several hundred miles from the burgeoning oil patches of the Eagle Ford and Permian. "I'm in favor of overturning the ban on crude oil exports." Barton chairs the energy task force of the Republican Study Committee, which will continue to debate the ban and issue position papers.