Environmentalists have condemned a budget deal in Congress to lift a 40-year ban on US crude oil exports as "a disaster for the climate".
Republicans have trumpeted the move as a major victory that will create 1m jobs and add $170bn to annual GDP. They argue that the restriction, imposed in 1975 during chronic oil shortages, has been rendered obsolete by burgeoning US supplies enabled by new drilling methods.
But the pressure group Oil Change International claimed the bipartisan compromise represented a backward step just days after Barack Obama helped forge a landmark climate change agreement in Paris.
Stephen Kretzmann, its executive director, said: "Just days after we all were given new hope in Paris, the empire has struck back. Congress's response to an historic climate deal? Incentivise further oil production. It's hard to imagine a clearer example of how far politics still has to go on climate in order to catch up with the science."