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Old 05-21-2008, 08:26 AM
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House passes bill to sue OPEC over prices...

http://www.reuters.com/article/topNe...rpc=22&sp=true

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.

(Editing by Christian Wiessner)
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Old 05-21-2008, 12:16 PM
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and this will cost the taxpayers how much? Piss off the oil assholes, and then what?
like the soup Nazi... NO OIL FOR YOU!
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Old 05-22-2008, 02:26 PM
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No joke, we're at their mercy. This would probably lead to war, especially since most OPEC countries are not on our friend list. I'm sure they've got some WMD's, or trying to enrich uranium, so this war wouldn't be hard to sell to the American people.
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