Conyers Introduces Bill to Crack Down on OPEC Oil Cartel and Protect Consumers From Gasoline Price Gouging
(Washington) – Today, House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.) introduced H.R. 1899, the “Oil Consumer Protection Act of 2011,” to subject the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to U.S. antitrust laws, prohibiting oil and gas companies from unilaterally withholding gasoline supply to create a shortage, with the intent of raising prices.
“You do not have to look very hard to see that the American consumer is hurting,” said Conyers. “And if you ask people on the street what worries them most, the majority would tell you that it is the price of gasoline. American families and businesses are yet again paying record prices for gasoline. In my home State of Michigan, gas prices earlier this month reached their highest levels ever at $4.22 per gallon. Figures released by the AAA Michigan show that the $4.22 per gallon state average surpassed the previous record of $4.21 per gallon set in July 2008. Driving should not have to be a luxury. Americans today are spending far too much of their pay checks at the pump.
“My bill will, once and for all, crack down on foreign oil cartels. Currently, because of the sovereign immunity doctrine, foreign nations and businesses they control may avoid accountability under U.S. antitrust law. This bill would eliminate the doctrine and allow antitrust law to apply to anticompetitive cartels.”
The “Oil Consumer Protection Act of 2011” would: