Tags: Russia | Trump Administration | opec | nopec | congress | oil | energy

Backed by Both Parties, NOPEC Bill Hits Back at OPEC

an opec news conference commerces before a large table with the opec logo
(Ronald Zak)

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Tuesday, 07 May 2019 09:32 PM Current | Bio | Archive

Even after the U.S. has moved into first place among the world's energy producing-nations, there is still deep concern on Capitol Hill and in the White House about OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) and its heavy-handed role in the international energy economy.

Earlier this year, Members of Congress of both parties finally decided to hit back and crafted the NOPEC (The No Oil Producing and Exporting Cartels) Act.

Offered as H.R. 948 in the House and S. 370 in the Senate, NOPEC would empower the U.S. attorney general to bring lawsuits against OPEC or any of its member-nations for violating U.S. anti-trust laws.

NOPEC would give U.S. authorities new tools with which to reduce the likelihood of oil price volatility, assist consumers, and thus get the upper hand over OPEC.

At a time when Capitol Hill appears fiercely divided along party lines, the House and Senate versions of NOPEC have support across both sides of the aisle.

In the House, co-sponsors ranged from conservative Reps. Steve Chabot, R-Ohio, and Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., to liberal Reps. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., and David Cicilline, D-R.I.

In the Senate, the measure is supported by conservative Sens. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and Mike Lee, R-Utah, and liberal Sens. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and Pat Leahy, D-Vt.

OPEC, whose 15 member-nations included Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Libya now controls over 80% of the world's reserves of oil.

Throughout its 59-year history, the cartel has waged a long war of anti-competitive practices primarily aimed at producers from the U.S.

When U.S. shale oil producers began filling the gap from years of OPEC withholding needed investment funds to hold down prices, the cartel in 2014 retaliated by flooding the international market with oil in an effort to punish these producers.

They did. According to a study by Securing America's Future Energy (SAFE), "[a]fter wiping out almost 1 million barrels per day of U.S. production and 200,000 American jobs, OPEC again changed course and began restricting production."

This year, OPEC is taking its anti-U.S. agenda to a new level by making its first agreement to cooperate with Russia.

Specifically an amendment to the Sherman Anti-Trust Act, H.R. 948/S.370 would make illegal any interference in the oil market and thus subject to prosecution in U.S. courts.

Offered in the House on Feb. 3, H.R. 948 sailed through the House Judiciary Committee by a voice vote four days later. That same day, Feb. 7, S.370 was officially introduced in the Senate and is awaiting action by the Senate Judiciary Committee.

OPEC, it would appear, is now in the sights of Congress.

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.

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The No Oil Producing and Exporting Cartels Act (NOPEC) would give U.S. authorities new tools with which to reduce the likelihood of oil price volatility, assist consumers, and thus get the upper hand over OPEC, according to Newsmax's John Gizzi.
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Tuesday, 07 May 2019 09:32 PM
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