WASHINGTON (Reuters) – 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.
The bill also requires the Government Accountability Office to carryout a study on the effects of prior oil company mergers on energy prices.
The Senate would still have to approve the House measure.
The Senate previously approved similar legislation as part of a broad energy bill. However, the OPEC-suing provision was removed after White House opposition in order to get the underlying energy legislation signed into law.
Imagine all the Islamic countries declaring that the people in the USA would face Sharia justice, simply because that is the law in their lands.
That is what the Congress of the USA is declaring in this TOTALLY INSANE piece of legislation, which is tantamount to an act of war.
The laws of the USA stop at it’s shores. Anyone that thinks otherwise is delusional, like the IMBECILES who voted for this bogus, tawdry and highly provocative legislation. It is a great pity that the endless supply of stupidity that The House of Representatives generates cannot be substituted for oil; america’s fuel problems would be over in a single day.
Of course, what will happen next is that officers of OPEC will be arrested at US airports should they be stupid enough to travel to the USA for any reason. Or maybe they will just kidnap OPEC officers and have them flown to the US for retribution. They will do ANYTHING other than face the truth, which every sixth former knows now; the dollar is in decline, and this is the real cause of skyrocketing prices.
The insular, ignorant, arrogant, lying, murdering congress seems to be hell bent on the complete destruction of that once great country. They are a body without empathy, without wisdom or understanding, bereft of their collective senses (with one notable exception) and frankly, will ultimately get what they deserve.
Which is not what we want!