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WASHINGTON (AP) — The oil industry’s top lobbyist says a new law allowing U.S. crude exports helps explain why oil prices have not spiked despite heightened tensions between two of the world’s big oil-producing countries, Iran and Saudi Arabia.

The president and CEO of the American Petroleum Institute, Jack Gerard, says the 3-week-old law lifting a 40-year ban on crude exports has already changed the dynamics of the global oil industry.

Gerard says the potential for U.S. exports, combined with the ongoing U.S. oil boom, means “the United States has come in as a major player” in the global oil market. He says “the geopolitics of energy will never be the same.”

The price of oil fell 30 percent last year and is down about 2 percent so far this year.