Grassley wants US to be able to sue OPEC over oil price fixing

WASHINGTON — Iowans are paying over a dollar a gallon more for gasoline now than they were a year ago, and Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley, a Republican, blames the Democrat in the White House.

Grassley says he’s introduced a bipartisan bill to combat anti-competitive practices by foreign oil producers who control 82-percent of the world’s oil reserve, namely OPEC.  “Gas prices have been at a seven-year high since Memorial Day and they keep going up,” Grassley says. “According to AAA, Americans must pay $17 more on average to fill up their vehicles compared to last year.” Grassley says, “Biden has made clear he’s not a friend of domestic oil producers,” while crude oil prices have doubled since the 2020 election.

The president is “scrambling,” Grassley says, to bring relief to consumers, but is going about it the wrong way. “He should prioritize biofuels to reduce the cost at the pump,” Grassley says. “This would also reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Unfortunately, he hasn’t taken the proper moves on biofuels to keep prices down.” Grassley says the president pleaded with OPEC to reduce prices and to increase production and in Grassley’s words, OPEC told Biden to “go pound sand.”

Grassley’s legislation is called NOPEC, which stands for the No Oil Producing and Exporting Cartels Act. “I introduced a bipartisan bill that would allow the United States to sue OPEC and its partners for anti-trust violations that increase gas prices,” Grassley says. “When OPEC meets, that’s collusion to set world prices.”

Grassley says if the administration insists on limiting domestic oil production, the U-S should at least have the tools to hold OPEC accountable for anti-competitive products and conduct.

AAA-Iowa reports gas prices in the state are averaging $3.15 a gallon, up from $2.02 a year ago. The national average is $3.38.