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Expand chart
Note: "Other oils" includes natural gas liquids other than propane, as well as other petroleum products such as lubricants and unfinished oils; Data: Energy Information Administration; Chart: Chris Canipe / Axios

The Energy Information Administration issued a report yesterday that shows exports of crude oil and refined petroleum products reached record levels in the first half of 2017.

Why it matters: The data signals how the U.S. has become a major player in global petroleum markets. The expansion of crude oil exports is especially noteworthy — the lifting of the crude export ban in late 2015 combined with the shale oil surge has enabled a major rise in U.S. crude shipments.

The gritty details: Crude oil exports, which grew by 300,000 barrels per day to 900,000 bpd in the first half of the year compared with the same period in 2016, have really taken off in recent weeks, fueled in part by the size of the discount of WTI compared with Brent crude.

Other EIA data released yesterday shows exports of 1.8 million barrels per day in the week ending Oct. 13, which is up from the 1.3 million the prior week. It's not quite the nearly 2 million in late September when refinery outages from Hurricane Harvey was pushing excess supply of discounted crude into the arms of willing global buyers.

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - Sports

MLB enters first lockout since '95 as deal expires

Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred (L) and Major League Baseball Players Association executive director Tony Clark. Photo: Matt King/MLB via Getty Images

Major League Baseball's collective bargaining agreement expired at 11:59 p.m. ET Wednesday without a new deal in place.

Why it matters: With no CBA, the MLB is in a management lockout — the first work stoppage since a 1994-95 strike led to the cancelation of the World Series for the first time in 90 years.

Media giants back Bannon's bid to release Jan. 6 documents

Former Trump adviser Steve Bannon at the FBI Washington Field Office in Washington, DC., in November. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

A coalition of news outlets including the Washington Post is supporting Stephen Bannon's campaign for the release of documents related to his contempt of Congress charges, WashPost reported Wednesday.

Why it matters: WashPost, the New York Times, CNN, NBC, the Wall Street Journal's parent company and others filed a motion arguing that a proposed protective order seeking to prevent the documents from being released violates the First Amendment, per the Daily Mail, which first reported on the news.

Symone Sanders leaving VP's office

Vice President Kamala Harris and her press secretary Symone Sanders. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Symone Sanders, senior advisor and chief spokesperson to Vice President Kamala Harris, is leaving the VP’s office by the end of this year, three White House officials told Axios on Wednesday.

Why it matters: The VP has faced an onslaught of criticism in her first year centered on her leadership and staff, adding to the suggestion, she’s not the Democratic Party’s preferred nominee for 2024.