A national group of oil producers is targeting Rep. John Delaney with a cable television advertisement that calls on the Montgomery County Democrat to support a bill to lift the U.S. ban on crude on exports.
The Washington-based Producers for American Crude Oil Exports, made up of ConocoPhillips, Marathon Oil and other large producers, will begin airing the ad on Friday in 15 congressional districts across the country.
House Republicans are set to take up legislation as early as next week to lift the 40-year-old ban on crude exports, passed in the 1970s during an energy shortages. The move is opposed by the Obama administration.
Still, Delaney has shown a willingness to break with his party on energy issues. He was one of 47 Democrats to support a bill last year that would speed the review of natural gas export proposals. He has opposed Maryland's moratorium on natural gas fracking.
The 30-second ad ties the issue to Iran nuclear agreement, which was allowed to go into place last month when Congress failed to pass a resolution of disapproval. Delaney ultimately voted in support of the Iran deal, but raised objections to it.
"The nuclear deal with Iran will allow them to increase their crude oil exports to countries around the world," the ad's narrator says. "Lifting the U.S. ban on crude oil exports would help level the playing field."
Aides to Delaney did not respond to the ad Thursday.