Source: United States House of Representatives – Congressman David Cicilline (1st Congressional District of Rhode Island)
WASHINGTON – The U.S. House Judiciary Committee today approved the bipartisan No Oil Producing and Exporting Cartels (NOPEC) Act (H.R. 5904) that Congressmen David N. Cicilline (RI-01) and Steve Chabot (OH-01) introduced three weeks ago. This legislation will help fight high gas prices by making members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other foreign oil cartels subject to U.S. antitrust law.
Cicilline, Chabot, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (VA-06), and House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Jerrold Nadler (NY-10) issued the following statements today:
Cicilline: “Working people are sick and tired of oil-producing countries ripping them off at the pump. This bill is a commonsense step to end price gouging and bring down the cost of gas for consumers. I’m proud we got this through Committee and I look forward to getting it passed by the full House.”
Representative Chabot: “As we have seen time and again, when oil prices are low, international oil cartels ramp up their price-gouging efforts in order to manipulate the global crude oil market. It’s high time that we do more to fight the artificial production controls that continue to keep the price of crude oil and gasoline arbitrarily high in the United States. The legislation we approved today would significantly help to fight price-gouging by subjecting OPEC nations to antitrust laws, and prohibiting them from unilaterally withholding supply with the intent of raising prices or creating a shortage. I thank Chairman Goodlatte and Ranking Member Nadler for their leadership on this proposal, which many of us have been promoting for years. Hopefully, we can finally get this important bipartisan legislation through the Senate and to President Trump’s desk for his signature.”
Chairman Goodlatte: “The purpose of antitrust law is to protect consumers from behemoths in any industry that threaten competition and control prices. The fact that OPEC has not been held accountable for its cartel behavior makes a mockery of U.S. antitrust law, threatens the American economy, and has the potential to harm our national security. I applaud Representatives Chabot and Cicilline for their efforts to put an end to OPEC’s anticompetitive behavior and urge the House of Representatives to pass this legislation quickly.”
Ranking Member Nadler: “The NOPEC Act will allow aggressive enforcement of U.S. antitrust law against OPEC to keep oil prices in check, and I am proud to see bipartisan cooperation on this important issue. When acting collectively, OPEC can greatly influence crude oil prices—the largest single determinant of retail gas prices—touching almost every aspect of Americans’ daily lives. Because of a series of court decisions, however, U.S. antitrust enforcers are unable to protect American consumers and businesses from the direct harm caused by OPEC’s blatantly anti-competitive conduct. The NOPEC Act directly addresses these decisions by amending procedural law and expressly authorizing the Justice Department to pursue antitrust litigation against OPEC members, should it choose to do so.”