Senate panel advances anti-OPEC bill, as Democrats ‘increasingly threatened by inflation’

The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday voted 17 to 4 in favor of a bipartisan bill that would expose the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies to antitrust lawsuits, prompting talk about whether such legislation has a chance this year.

According to Benjamin Salisbury, research director at High Capital Markets, there are reasons why the Oil-Free and Export-Free Poster Act is more likely than ever to come true.

“Democratic political leaders are increasingly threatened by inflation, especially in terms of fuel prices, with few tools to fight. OPEC + in general and Saudi Arabia in particular have been cold in the face of the president’s calls. In addition, Saudi Arabia’s alignment with OPEC +, including Russia, during the Ukrainian war worsens the abyss between Biden and MBS, leading to opposition to the bill. more politically dangerous for policymakers, “Salisbury said in a note Friday, referring to Saudi Arabia’s KSA.
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Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman.

Related: Biden talks about his efforts to tame high prices as analysts see “dirty” midterm elections for him unless inflation falls

And see: What can Biden and Congress do to fight inflation? “Just not much of anything”

On the other hand, Height’s analyst said there is also reason to believe that the success of the NOPEC Act is “less likely than ever”, including the fact that “there is questionable evidence of OPEC such as to price-fixing, in our view, except to manage falling demand for the benefit of the U.S. oil industry. “

Versions of the legislation have existed since 2000 and have been approved by the committee, but never became law.

“Opposition from US oil industry XOP,
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Saudi Arabia and other U.S. industries that fear retaliation have generally slowed it down, “Salisbury said.

From the MarketWatch archives (2007): The House points to OPEC, while the White House threatens to veto the bill that would allow legal action

President Joe Biden’s administration does not currently have an official position on the NOPEC Act, according to White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki.

“The potential implications and unintended consequences of this legislation require further study and deliberation, especially during this dynamic moment in global energy markets caused by President Putin’s invasion of Ukraine,” he said on Thursday. Russian leader Vladimir Putin.

“So let’s take a look at it, and we certainly have some concerns about what the possible implications might be,” Psaki told reporters during a briefing, one of his last before leaving the White House.

CL00 oil prices,
+ 1.41%

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on Friday they were higher and headed for another strong weekly gain as supply concerns dominated.

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