Washington, D.C.– Following reports that OPEC and OPEC+ nations including Russia have formalized their coordination with a new “charter of cooperation”, Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) President and CEO Robbie Diamond condemned the charter as an expansion of anti-competitive behavior in the global oil market and called for Congress to approve the No Oil Producing and Exporting Cartels Act (NOPEC).
“No way can OPEC’s approval of a “charter of cooperation” with a Russia-led group of oil producing countries be good for the United States. That’s formalizing and expanding collusion. That jeopardizes America’s economic and national security. President Trump says we need NOPEC legislation. Congress should approve it now,” Diamond said.
Before becoming President, Donald Trump called for NOPEC’s enactment in his 2011 book “Time to Get Tough.” If enacted, NOPEC would amend the Sherman Act to give the executive branch the ability to bring lawsuits against OPEC or any of its members for anti-competitive conduct by closing sovereign immunity and the act of state doctrine loopholes.
“For years, OPEC has sought to collude on prices; actions that would invite litigation and prosecutions in other industries but not for oil. Now the cartel—whose Venezuelan president is the oil minister of a government the United States does not even formally recognize—has shown its desire to continue to operate contrary to American antitrust law. Passing NOPEC would give our executive branch a crucial tool to combat this flagrant market manipulation,” Diamond added.
NOPEC would provide the U.S. government with significantly greater leverage over this cartel and/or its specific members, reducing the likelihood and severity of oil price volatility, which distorts decisions throughout the economy and hurts consumers.
The United States is the world’s largest oil consumer, accounting for one-fifth of daily global supply; 70 percent of which is used to fuel our transport network, which is 92 percent dependent on petroleum. Due to the uniquely global nature of oil pricing—where a supply disruption anywhere affects prices everywhere—the United States will always be impacted by OPEC’s actions, regardless of how much oil we produce at home.
Introduced in the Senate by Sens. Grassley (R-IA), Klobuchar (D-MN), Lee (R-UT) and Leahy (D-VT), and in the House by Reps. Chabot (R-OH), Nadler (D-NY), Sensenbrenner (R-WI), Cicilline (D-RI) and Collins (R-GA), the legislation has enjoyed bipartisan support. The House bill passed in committee on February 7, the same day NOPEC was introduced in the Senate.
About Securing America’s Future Energy
Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) is an action-oriented, nonpartisan organization that aims to reduce America’s dependence on oil. Near-total dependence on petroleum in the transportation sector undermines the nation’s economic and national security, and constrains U.S. foreign policy. To combat these threats, SAFE advocates for expanded domestic production of U.S. oil and gas resources, continued improvements in vehicle fuel efficiency, and transportation sector innovations including electric vehicles, natural gas trucks, and autonomous vehicles. In 2006, SAFE joined with General P.X. Kelley (Ret.), 28th Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps, and Frederick W. Smith, Chairman, President, and CEO of FedEx Corporation, to form the Energy Security Leadership Council (ESLC), a group of business and former military leaders committed to reducing the United States’ dependence on oil. Today, the ESLC is co-chaired by Frederick W. Smith and General James T. Conway (Ret), 34th Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps.
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