Washington, D.C.— Responding to reports that Saudi Aramco has ruled out listing on the New York Stock Exchange due to a variety of legal risks — including their concerns with the No Oil Producing and Exporting Cartels Act (NOPEC) legislation — Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) President and CEO Robbie Diamond made the following statement:
“Saudi Aramco’s decision to avoid an American listing for its IPO further confirms its anti-competitive behavior. They clearly don’t want to conform to U.S. antitrust norms. And Saudi Arabia knows its cartelized behavior with its fellow OPEC members would be exposed under NOPEC.”
If enacted, NOPEC would amend the Sherman Act by ensuring OPEC and its members can no longer use a sovereign immunity defense or the Act of State doctrine to evade antitrust litigation, and would empower the executive branch to launch such suits if it sees fit. Before becoming President, Donald Trump called for NOPEC’s enactment in his 2011 book “Time to Get Tough.”
“It is way past time for NOPEC to become law. Saudi Aramco’s listing machinations affirm Saudi Arabia’s intention to continue operating in – and leading – the OPEC cartel whose anti-competitive activities hurt Americans,” Diamond added.
Commissioned by SAFE, a white paper from Harry First, the Charles L. Denison Professor of Law at the New York University School of Law, and Darren Bush, the Leonard B. Rosenberg Professor of Law at the University of Houston Law Center, found NOPEC to be a “relatively moderate” application of U.S. antitrust law, noting that it is an enabling measure rather than a directive.
Introduced in the Senate by Sens. Grassley (R-IA), Klobuchar (D-MN), Lee (R-UT) and Leahy (D-VT), and in the House by Reps. Chabot (R-OH), Nadler (D-NY), Sensenbrenner (R-WI), Cicilline (D-RI) and Collins (R-GA), NOPEC has enjoyed bipartisan support. The House bill passed in committee on February 7, the same day the legislation was introduced in the Senate.
About Securing America’s Future Energy
Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) is an action-oriented, nonpartisan organization that aims to reduce America’s dependence on oil. Near-total dependence on petroleum in the transportation sector undermines the nation’s economic and national security, and constrains U.S. foreign policy. To combat these threats, SAFE advocates for expanded domestic production of U.S. oil and gas resources, continued improvements in vehicle fuel efficiency, and transportation sector innovations including electric vehicles, natural gas trucks, and autonomous vehicles. In 2006, SAFE joined with General P.X. Kelley (Ret.), 28th Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps, and Frederick W. Smith, Chairman, President, and CEO of FedEx Corporation, to form the Energy Security Leadership Council (ESLC), a group of business and former military leaders committed to reducing the United States’ dependence on oil. Today, the ESLC is co-chaired by Frederick W. Smith and General James T. Conway (Ret), 34th Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps.
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