Categories: World

US: Senate committee votes against anti-oil monopoly, escalating pressure on OPEC

US: Senate committee votes against anti-oil monopoly, escalating pressure on OPEC

A Senate committee passed a bill Thursday that could expose OPEC and its allies to lawsuits over synergies for raising oil prices.

Senators promote the bill (No Oil Producing or Exporting Cartels -NOPEC). Among them are Republican Chuck Grassley and Democrat Amy Klobuchar.

This bill was approved by a vote (17-4) of the Senate Justice Committee.

White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the US government was “concerned about the possible consequences and unintended consequences” of the legislation, in particular because of the crisis in Ukraine.

According to her, the White House is still considering the same bill.

Other versions of the bill have not been passed by Congress for more than two decades. However, members of Congress are gradually becoming more and more concerned about rising inflation caused in part by U.S. gasoline prices, which hit record highs of more than $ 4.30 a gallon this spring.

“I believe that free and competitive markets are better for consumers than markets controlled by state-owned cartels … competition is the cornerstone of our financial system,” Klobucar said.

The NOPEC bill will change US antitrust law, revoking a form of sovereign immunity that has long protected OPEC and its member states’ national oil companies from being sued.

The same bill would have to be passed by the Senate and House of Representatives and signed by President Joe Biden in order to become U.S. law.

If passed, the US Secretary of Justice will have the legal capacity to file a lawsuit against OPEC or its members, such as Saudi Arabia, in a US federal court. Other oil producers, such as Russia, which works with OPEC as part of a wider group of countries known as OPEC + to reduce oil production, will also be vulnerable to legal action against them.


Source: Capital