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Re: SC68

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May 20, 2008 11:00PM
http://www.reuters.com/article/topNews/idUSWAT00953020080520?feedType=RSS&feedName=topNews&rpc=22&sp=true

House passes bill to sue OPEC over oil prices

The House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved legislation on Tuesday allowing the Justice Department to sue OPEC members for limiting oil supplies and working together to set crude prices, but the White House threatened to veto the measure.

The bill would subject OPEC oil producers, including Saudi Arabia, Iran and Venezuela, to the same antitrust laws that U.S. companies must follow.

The measure passed in a 324-84 vote, a big enough margin to override a presidential veto.

The legislation also creates a Justice Department task force to aggressively investigate gasoline price gouging and energy market manipulation.

"This bill guarantees that oil prices will reflect supply and demand economic rules, instead of wildly speculative and perhaps illegal activities," said Democratic Rep. Steve Kagen of Wisconsin, who sponsored the legislation.

The lawmaker said Americans "are at the mercy" of OPEC for how much they pay for gasoline, which this week hit a record average of $3.79 a gallon.

The White House opposes the bill, saying that targeting OPEC investment in the United States as a source for damage awards "would likely spur retaliatory action against American interests in those countries and lead to a reduction in oil available to U.S. refiners."

The administration said less oil going to refineries would limit available gasoline supplies and raise fuel prices.

Foreign investment in U.S. oil infrastructure has declined in the last decade. But the state-owned oil companies of several OPEC nations are owners of U.S. refineries, and those investments could be affected if the legislation becomes law, said Arlington, Virginia-based FBR Capital Markets Corp..................

Sueing OPEC because of high oil and gas prices is a ridiculous move by the House of Reps. It will be yet another pointless endeavor to address the growing US energy crisis, just like the recent move to take the oil going into the US Strategic Reserves and putting it instead into the US market will be for all practical purposes meaningless too. Yes, lets piss off the biggest oil selling entity in the world by sueing them. No wonder our amazing politicians get the big bucks! The US Energy Pig is starting to squeal, and OPEC will be laughing all the way to the bank, knowing they have what the US so desperately needs to run its huge economy.
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