The Strategist

US approves draft allowing lawsuits against OPEC

04/21/2021 - 07:00

The US House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday approved legislation allowing antitrust suits against OPEC member countries in the US, now to be considered by the full House of Representatives.

Vincent Eisfeld
Vincent Eisfeld
The No Oil Producing and Exporting Cartels (NOPEC) bill, as explained on the House Legal Committee website, gives the US Department of Justice the authority to initiate antitrust suits against OPEC members and gives US courts the right to hear such cases.

The sponsors of the bill note that OPEC members "knowingly conspire to limit crude production in order to control the price, unfairly inflating crude prices to meet the greedy needs of oil producers."

"If US companies acted this way, it would be considered a violation of antitrust law," Jerrold Nadler, head of the legal committee, said in connection with the consideration of the bill. For the bill to become law, it must be passed by the House, Senate and then signed by the US president. There is no indication as to what time frame the bill may reach the House.

Similar bills have been considered in Congress before, but did not find real implementation in the form of an enacted law.