Didn’t know this would be enforceable?
by Tom Doggett
(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.”