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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      House Committee on the Judiciary
      Regulatory Reform, Commercial and Antitrust Law
    IntroducedMay 22nd, 2018

What is it?

This bill — the NOPEC Act — would subject the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) cartel subject to U.S. anti-trust law by removing a sovereign immunity shield that was created by judicial precedent and therefore protects OPEC nations. Specifically, it’d be a violation of anti-trust law for any organization’s members to cooperate to: 1) limit the production or distribution of oil, natural gas, or any other petroleum product; 2) set or maintain the price of oil, natural gas, or any other petroleum product; or 3) take any other action to restrain the trade of oil, natural gas, or any other petroleum product.

OPEC is considered to be a cartel, which is a group of suppliers or buyers of a commodity or product (in this case petroleum suppliers) who coordinate their actions to increase their collective profits and decrease competition within the market they participate in. OPEC was created in 1960, it currently has 15 member nations which collectively provided 44% of global oil production and possessed 73% of the world's oil reserves as of 2016.

By removing the sovereign immunity shield from OPEC, whose members are foreign countries, the Dept. of Justice would be able to bring actions against OPEC members in federal court.

The bill’s full title is the No Oil Producing and Exporting Cartels (NOPEC) Act of 2018.

Impact

OPEC or other petroleum market cartels; federal courts; and the DOJ.

Cost

The CBO estimates that enacting this bill would have an insignificant impact on the deficit

More Information

In-Depth: Sponsoring Rep. Steve Chabot (R-OH) introduced this bill to subject OPEC to U.S. anti-trust law:

“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.”

Original cosponsor Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI) added:

“Since 1960, OPEC has manipulated the supply and price of oil with total impunity under American law. They constantly drive the cost of oil higher, meaning working people in our country end up paying more for gas for their car or heat for their homes. It’s time for this to end. I’m proud to introduce the NOPEC Act to give Americans relief from the high costs OPEC has forced on them for more than half a century.”

This legislation passed the House Judiciary Committee on a voice vote and has the support of six bipartisan cosponsors, including four Republicans and two Democrats.


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: AlexLMX / iStock)

AKA

No Oil Producing and Exporting Cartels Act of 2018

Official Title

To amend the Sherman Act to make oil-producing and exporting cartels illegal.

    Not sure about its enforceability but it would be symbolic. I like the fact that sponsor is a republican and is cosponsored by a democrat.
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    How would you enforce American law on foreign governments? More tariffs?
    Like (76)
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    This is a lot more complicated that it seems at first blush. Our laws only pertain to us, sovereign nations do not have to follow our laws just as we do not have to follow their laws. With that being said we could require that they conduct their business affairs in a manner in accordance with our laws, if they want to have access to our markets. If they are allowed to freely trade in our markets and don’t follow our laws, depending on the severity of the infraction, we could either impose a tariff or simply quit allowing them access at all.
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    First, I wonder what makes Mr. Chabot think our laws would apply to sovereign nations. Isn’t this the same gang that hates the UN? What would happen if they fail to comply? Oh, I know. Much higher oil prices, YUGE oil company profits, and an economic depression because his ilk don’t “believe” in sustainable energy production. Second, while OPEC May no longer be a monopoly, we don’t produce enough for our own needs. Would the Republican solution be to seize the Alberta tar sands? Anyone supporting this is deluded into thinking this will lower oil prices. It will not. If it does, I will eat a bug.
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    Our laws regulate US companies. OPEC is not a US company.
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    Y’all are kidding, right? How do you propose to subject a FOREIGN entity to AMERICAN antitrust laws - antitrust laws which, by the way, y’all don’t even apply to AMERICAN companies? May as well make a law declaring America as king of the world for all the actual impact such a bill would actually have.
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    We can’t force our laws on OPEC. Apparently we can’t even force them on US businesses!
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    The problem lies more with Big Oil. Rein in the oil companies first.
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    👎🏻👎🏻 H.R. 5904 AKA — the NOPEC Act 👎🏻👎🏻 I’m opposed and don’t recommend the passage of this House bill H.R. 5904 AKA — the NOPEC Act — would subject the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) cartel subject to U.S. anti-trust law by removing a sovereign immunity shield that was created by judicial precedent and therefore protects OPEC nations. Specifically, it’d be a violation of anti-trust law for any organization’s members to cooperate to: * 1) Limit the production or distribution of oil, natural gas, or any other petroleum product; * 2) Set or maintain the price of oil, natural gas, or any other petroleum product; or * 3) Take any other action to restrain the trade of oil, natural gas, or any other petroleum product. It won’t do any good for the U.S. to go after OPEC in federal court, as those countries will try to manipulate petroleum markets in other ways. The administration could tell the Dept. of Justice to not pursue an anti-trust action against OPEC for diplomatic or economic reasons. 8*17*18 ..... SneakyPete.
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    STOP blindly supporting trump’s poisonous rhetoric. It’s amazing how these conflicts only occur during the current administration and no others. Perhaps it’s time to monitor the child residing in the White House. He has proven he knows nothing of foreign diplomacy. He has started a trade war. The average American cannot and should not have to endure a trade war or higher gas prices because there is now a war of words with OPEC.
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    I think it’s not forceable. Each country has it’s own sovereignty.
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    No cartel should be legal! But we should watch consequences....
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    Really, has everyone just jumped on the uneducated bandwagon and reposted the same thing? The IMF really should be regulating it’s members who participate in OPEC. It wouldn’t hurt to have some pressure from the US.
    Like (6)
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    Just how would we enforce this? This is akin to “Mexico will pay for the wall.”
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    Do we really want our government to answer to other nations laws? We don’t even want to abide by the Geneva Convention or International Criminal Court!!!!!
    Like (6)
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    This is another Congressional dog and pony show. Pound on the table, expressing outrage, while nothing happens at the end. Congress has more important things to do.
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    Same rules need to be applied to Wall St
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    We put them in business and taught them the ropes of how to do business and now we’re complaining because it isn’t going our way????
    Like (5)
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    America doesn’t even care about antitrust laws how can we demand that the rest of the world adhere to them.
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    We do not have jurisdiction over the cartel. We need more solar, wind power so we don’t need the cartel
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