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05/20/2008 10:50 PM ID: 70886 Permalink   

Congress Wants to Sue OPEC Over Oil Prices; Bush Threatens Veto


The U.S. House of Representatives passed in a landslide legislation that would allow the Justice Department to sue OPEC for cooperating to set high oil prices and limiting supply, but President Bush said he will veto the bill.

The bill would attempt to subject OPEC to U.S. antitrust laws and would include Saudi Arabia, Iran and Venezuela. The vote margin, 324-84, is large enough to override a presidential veto, which was threatened in fear of retaliation by OPEC.

"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. The bill now goes to the Senate for approval.

    WebReporter: l´anglais Show Calling Card      
ASSESS this news: BLOCK this news. Reason:
  I declare shenanigans  
It's about time someone will do something to accurately reflect the real cost of oil for us consumers. I just hope it will allow for the same up here in Canada.
  by: white devil   05/20/2008 11:25 PM     
  OMG -  
Just like ILLEGAL immigrants are not (should not) be entitled to the legal protections offered here in the United States, neither should the US be allowed to hold foreign companies responsible for US antitrust laws, unless of course those speific companies practice legal business in the United States......
  by: Ignorance Police   05/21/2008 02:12 AM     
  your gov at work  
.. i mean jackasses. yea so lets sue them and cover it all up. just to make us peon's happy.

WTF i got a better investigation for ya, effing sue//investigate all the gasoline stations for collusion. prices used to jump 2-6 cents in some area's until the recent surge. it jumped suddenly by 11 cents and up. wtf was it that broke the flood gates and caused the rapid spike in prices. total bull.
  by: DRK   05/21/2008 03:07 AM     
  Oh... I don't know.... lets sue someone  
When in doubt... litigate
  by: boaznjachin     05/21/2008 03:16 AM     
  The facts remain the facts  
You cannot dispute the FACT that gross profit analysis of big oil companies proves that their gross profit margins are not out of line with the average Fortune 500 company. The big oil companies are all publicly traded and you can get their financial statements online to do the analysis yourself. Just for the fun of it, why don't you compare Exxon, Apple, and ADM.

Now back to the point of the article. If OPEC were to hold their meetings here in the US, they would be subject to arrest because their collusion on oil production rates and prices runs afoul of American anti-trust laws. If Microsoft can be held liable for anti-trust violations in the EU, then OPEC can face the same here in the US. After all, what is good for the goose . . .
  by: tomblik     05/21/2008 04:00 AM     
  Then again  
isn't this just another example of Congress pretending to care? It's always been a show and always will be.
  by: John E Angel     05/21/2008 04:14 AM     
  @Ignorance Police  
If the E.U. can sue Microsoft for selling their operating system in their country. Then the OPEC can be sued for ridiculous price gouging world wide. I'm just surprised the E.U. has not sued OPEC yet.
  by: slayer06   05/21/2008 04:18 AM     
Microsoft has been held liable for anti-trust violations by the EU.
  by: ichi     05/21/2008 04:27 AM     
I think the EU laws would apply to MS since they would have a legal entity in the EU and are selling their product in the EU. OPEC is not selling oil to the US. OPEC is a group of countries not companies. So your comparison is moot.
  by: jendres     05/21/2008 04:29 AM     
OPEC isn't the only one responsible for the price of oil. It's the speculators who are primarily responsible although somehow I doubt the commodities traders are going to be held to account.

Oh, and regarding Microsoft, they have a European division, therefore they are obliged to follow European laws. I'm fairly sure OPEC doesn't have a US office, not to mention that it's unlikely anti-trust laws would apply in any case. There is quite a difference between a consumer product such as software, and a raw material such as oil.
  by: StarShadow     05/21/2008 04:31 AM     
"OPEC is not selling oil to the US." should read "OPEC is not selling oil _in_ the US."
  by: jendres     05/21/2008 04:33 AM     
  Big Surprise  
Gee Bush would veto lets see the Texan made his money in OIL and he is on his way out as president so maybe oil prices are not all on OPEC.

Politician Rule No.1 look out for #1
  by: dcmike34   05/21/2008 11:27 AM     
How about the rest of the world sue the US for the outrages in Afghanistan, Iraq and Gitmo?

They should just give up now, one country's laws do not apply to other countries.
  by: Maxx20     05/21/2008 12:50 PM     
  I can just listen to them...  
We sue you for X gazillions.
Like we care.
You own us X gazillions.
Like we are going to pay.
We'll boycott you.
Sure thing, go ahead... morons.
  by: Rv3   05/21/2008 02:31 PM     
"This bill guarantees that oil prices will reflect supply and demand economic rules, instead of wildly speculative and perhaps illegal activities," Speculation is what is driving up the price, their is enough supply for the demand and they still are driving the price up, it is a run away train, Why is it work 140 dollars in the coming weeks, what makes it worth sooo much money, it is not rare, there is enough to go around. I hear that there is a bubble coming, and I hope it is true. The people the speculate the price need to be sued or held responsible for the prices. I remember when they said that Amazon was should be work 400 bucks a pop, it was, then it crashed.
  by: thedrewman   05/21/2008 03:15 PM     
  Well, at least we know  
who Dubya is working for.....and it ain't the citizens of the United States of America. Why is this traitorous Saudi asshat still living in my White House?
  by: valkyrie123     05/21/2008 04:03 PM     
  That's what you get  
When you have a full throttle capitalist system. Profit, no matter the cost, and YOU are the cost. Sucks to be you hun? Dont worry, they'll make you feel better by making it look it's because of the communists.
  by: Rv3   05/21/2008 04:12 PM     
  @John E Angel  
would rather have them _not_ pretend to care and do nothing to help us? just let oil prices go up until its $50 per gallon and then let the whole world run out of oil?

i guess i just proved a different point. then we might become less dependant on oil... because it wil be gone... good point john!!!
  by: leprakawn   05/21/2008 09:27 PM     
  I love my solar powered car  
I don't really, I get horrible mileage.
  by: smarta$$     05/21/2008 11:02 PM     
Btw, lol. Like Congress can control whether the world runs out of oil or not.

Our best bet is to win some money from OPEC and invest it into alternative fuel sources such as magic.
  by: smarta$$     05/21/2008 11:10 PM     
this is just really stupid.
its not like opec controls a thing.
saudis cannot put more oil out, there at there capacity.
another thing i think its funny to ask the saudis to produce more and ask opec to raise production and then threaten to sue opec for so called "price gouging" and on top of all this we dont produce or attempt to drill for any of the oil we have here.
pretty damn stupid to me.
  by: cray0la     05/22/2008 01:48 AM     
  Simple solution.  
Ok, very simple instead of this should be done. First, you should know that Canada is now the largest source of crude for the US. (Do and google search for US OIL IMPORTS and go to the first page)

So, because oil is bought and sold in a totally free market the price can be whatever people want to pay for it. Or whatever the market will bear. However you want to word it, the price of oil is based on how people "feel" about the stability of the market.

Reality is, there is still alot of oil for the time being, but as we all know, it is a diminishing resource, so solutions have to come sooner rather than later.

HOWEVER! The fact that it will run out has NOTHING to do with the price. The price comes from a free market. Yes, capitalism has its downside, and this is it.

So, how do we fix this? Litigate the oil companies into submission? Nope. The BEST way to fix this is to make a regulated oil price based on a reasonable market value and return to the companies. ie: if it costs $26 a barrel to produce, they can charge $52, or something like that. Then it gets refined, and the cost at the pump is based on a SET formula which leaves room for various taxes, and profit at the various levels.

As the vast majority of oil used in North American COMES FROM NORTH AMERICA we (Canadians, Americans and Mexicans) are screwing ourselves by letting light sweet and heavy crude be bought and sold as a commodity.

The only solution is to make a fair regulated price on it so that everyone can make a reasonable profit, and stabilze prices. When the fear of the rising cost of crude goes away, everyones economies will pick up.

My $0.04 ($0.02 + tax)
  by: gbestwick   05/22/2008 02:53 AM     
  Won't Work..  
For a start, that would be discriminatory, unless the government started telling everyone what they can charge for everything, which leads to...
It wouldn't stand up in court either, at least not here in Canada, the government does not have the power to tell companies what they can charge for their products.
  by: StarShadow     05/22/2008 03:13 AM     
  Can't be sued my as*  
OPEC is a group of nations combined into a group, selling oil as a group, setting prices as a group, in other words a Union! This is the same concept of the E.U. Together they are strong, separated they are weak.

OPEC sells oil world wide on stock markets. Because of this, they are at the mercy of the same laws as every other company that sells on the stock markets. Price gouging and corporate corruption are the first 2 charges that come to mind.
  by: slayer06   05/22/2008 03:50 AM     
Actually OPEC does not sell oil. The individual countries might set quotas for production which drives up prices due to supply and demand.

I think this is just US frustration at not being able to control everything.

The OPEC is based in Vienna not in the US. Basically what you are advocating is that a country can write a rule and then enforce it upon another country just because they want to.

How about Iran writes a law saying that the US is not allowed to grow wheat and then sues the US for growing wheat. See anything wrong with this?
  by: jendres     05/22/2008 04:45 AM     
Dont look good... but it will hit a top... then fall. Were drilling deeper and only into about 6% of the earths crust... theres more black gold deeper. its all fear mongering. We wont be able to afford to go to work at some point, GM is out of the picture so is ford... Big 3 americans are in trouble, Dodge is ancient...

This is bad, but well see where it leads... If Bush attacks Iran expect crude to hit 200+ barrel and expect to have your taxes go up to pay for war.

There is many bad things coming, lets hope the ppl are ready to go back to their roots...

  by: swordfizh   05/22/2008 04:59 AM     
Even if OPEC did sell oil, they don't sell it on the stock market. Investors speculate (ie buy and sell) oil futures on the stock market, but that isn't the same thing. Investors buy and sell wheat futures as well, but you certainly can't buy wheat on wall street.

As has been said already, it's primarily the speculators who are driving up the price of oil, not OPEC.
  by: StarShadow     05/22/2008 06:42 AM     
Lots of products are price caped by etheir the fed or the prov governement.

Milk is one of them in Québec, wheat is one for Canada. And a lot more.
  by: Rv3   05/22/2008 03:56 PM     
"Lots of products are price caped by etheir the fed or the prov governement."

Local products (by provincial govt), yes. However, the middle-east/OPEC isn't local. The (Canadian) Federal govt can't, for example, tell the US carmakers how much they are allowed to sell cars for, or tell Microsoft how much they can charge for their software.
  by: StarShadow     05/23/2008 05:52 AM     
About the only thing that keeps the US economy from sinking completely is that OPEC sells oil in US$. If the US govt p*sses OPEC off enough to make them switch currencies, let's just say it won't be pretty.
  by: StarShadow     05/23/2008 05:56 AM     
  Congress........our HEROES  
Ain't this the same bunch of people that wants American's to quit filing "frivolous" lawsuits ? Ain't that kina like the pot calling the kettle black? Now, ima not that educated (compared to our "good" senators and congressmen)....(LOL), but ain't this kina hypocritical ? .....nothing like a bunch of politicians with their head up thier hiney to make the situation WORSE, not BETTER !
  by: wvcoalminer   05/25/2008 05:32 PM     
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