Washington, D.C.—Following reports that Saudi Arabia is threatening to sell its oil in currencies other than the dollar if Washington passes the No Oil Producing and Exporting Cartels Act (NOPEC), Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) President and CEO Robbie Diamond issued the following statement:
“For decades, Saudi Arabia has benefited from trading its vast supplies of cheap oil on an unfree market dominated by the OPEC cartel—at American expense. This report, if true, would only further prove that Saudi Arabia is willing to go to extreme lengths to protect its unfair advantage in the global oil market.”
Between 1970 and 2015 alone, $3.4 trillion was transferred from the United States to foreign oil producers simply to account for oil price inflation by OPEC. In addition, the U.S. military spends $81 billion every year to police global oil supply lines, ensuring uninterrupted supply of the cartel’s oil to market.
If enacted, NOPEC would amend the Sherman Act to ensure OPEC and its members can no longer use a sovereign immunity defense or the Act of State doctrine to evade antitrust litigation, and would empower the executive branch to launch such suits if it sees fit.
“The Sherman Act ensures healthy, fair and free competition. If we do not apply it to the select few countries which happen to dominate the most strategically-important commodity in the world, U.S. economic and energy security will continue to be undermined by nations that share neither our priorities nor our free-market values,” Diamond added.
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. Despite rising U.S. oil production, OPEC still dominates the global oil market, holding almost 82 percent of global reserves in 2017. 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), NOPEC has enjoyed bipartisan support. The House bill passed in committee on February 7, the same day the legislation 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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