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.
legislation also creates a Justice Department task force to
aggressively investigate gasoline price gouging and energy market
"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.
I am sure, either through scheming or more likely incompetance, that OPEC countries are under-supplying their potential capacity for oil production. But if we want to deem this a crime, who is the biggest criminal? The US is the only country I know of that has, by statute, made illegal the development of enormous domestic reserves. Just last week, Democracts in Congress, in fact the exact same folks sponsoring this bill, voted to continue an effective moratorium on US oil shale development. No country in the world is doing less to develop the most promising oil reserves than is the US. Congress, sue thyself. I mocked this idea weeks ago when Hillary first suggested it. If this passes, I would love to see the US counter-sued for not developing ANWR. Or large areas of the Gulf. Or most of the Pacific coast. Or all of the Atlantic coast. Or our largest-in-the-world oil shale deposits.