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Data: U.S. Energy Information Administration; Chart: Axios Visuals

The U.S. is now exporting crude oil to a record number of 31 countries, according to newly released data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Where it stands: U.S. oil exports are going all over the world, ranging from oil-rich United Arab Emirates to Australia, reaching 2.9 million barrels a day from essentially zero in 2015 before Congress lifted a 40-year-old ban on exporting crude oil.

The big picture: This is a remarkable turnaround fueled by America's booming oil and natural gas industry. Its impact on the average consumer is more muted because oil prices are traded on a global market and thus are fungible regardless.

  • This export boom is likely keeping prices at the pump lower than they might have been absent all this new oil on the global markets, which is in turn keeping oil prices lower than otherwise.

What's next: EIA senior petroleum markets analyst Mason Hamilton (whose tweet tipped this milestone) tells Axios...

“With all the infrastructure planned to facilitate even greater volumes of U.S. crude oil exports we will likely soon find out how big of a market is out there for U.S. crude oil."

Go deeper ... A petro-tipping point: U.S. to surpass Saudi oil exports

Go deeper

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 4:30 p.m. ET: 12,128,406 — Total deaths: 551,552 — Total recoveries — 6,650,675Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 4:30 p.m. ET: 3,088,913 — Total deaths: 132,934 — Total recoveries: 953,420 — Total tested: 36,979,745Map.
  3. Public health: More young people are spreading the virus Cases rise in 33 statesFlorida reports highest single-day death toll since pandemic began.
  4. Science: World Health Organization acknowledges airborne transmission of coronavirus.
  5. 1 🐂 thing: How the world could monitor for potential pandemic animal viruses.
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More young people are getting — and spreading — the coronavirus

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

More young people are being infected with the coronavirus, and even though they're less likely to die from it, experts warn the virus' spread among young adults may further fuel outbreaks across the United States.

Why it matters: Some people in their 20s and 30s face serious health complications from COVID-19, and a surge in cases among young people gives the virus a bigger foothold, increasing the risk of infection for more vulnerable people.

Joint Chiefs chairman condemns Confederate symbols

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley criticized Confederate symbols before the House Armed Services Committee on Thursday, and called the Civil War an "act of treason."

Why it matters: Milley said that minority service members — which he noted make up 43% of the U.S. military — may feel uncomfortable that Army bases are named for Confederate generals who "fought for an institution of slavery that may have enslaved one of their ancestors."