Washington, D.C. – After the Senate Judiciary Committee marked up the No Oil Producing and Exporting Cartels Act (NOPEC), SAFE Chairman Admiral Dennis Blair, former Director of National Intelligence, made the following statement: “It is encouraging to see strong bipartisan support for ending OPEC’s long-standing and harmful influence over global oil markets and resulting gas prices. We urge a vote on NOPEC in the full Senate at the earliest opportunity. With inflated oil revenue funding the Russian war machine in Ukraine, there is too much at stake for America’s national and economic security to miss this opportunity.”
The No Oil Producing and Exporting Cartels Act would amend the Sherman Antitrust Act to disallow OPEC from evading U.S. antitrust law. Last week, 14 members of SAFE’s Energy Security Leadership Council (ESLC) – 13 retired four-star military officers plus a former service secretary – submitted a letter to the Committee members. It stated in part: “Enacting this legislation would give the government a much-needed ‘stick’ to pressure Saudi Arabia to release its spare capacity onto the global market, stabilizing oil prices as the world contends with the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The passage of NOPEC would demonstrate that the United States is serious about combatting oil market manipulation and will hold malign actors to account.”
The letter’s signatories were:
General James Conway, 34th Commandant of the Marine Corps (ESLC Chair)
Admiral Dennis Blair, Director of National Intelligence and Cdr, U.S. Pacific Command
General Bryan D. Brown, Cdr, U.S. Special Operations Command
General Richard Cody, Vice Chief of Staff, U.S. Army
Admiral Jonathan Greenert, 30th Chief of Naval Operations
General Michael Hagee, 33rd Commandant of the Marine Corps
Admiral John Harvey, Cdr, U.S. Fleet Forces Command
Admiral Michelle Howard, Cdr, U.S. Naval Forces Europe & Africa
Mr. John Lehman, Secretary of the Navy
General David McKiernan, Cdr, International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan
General Duncan McNabb, Cdr, U.S. Transportation Command
General Michael Ryan, 16th Chief of Staff, U.S. Air Force
General Charles Wald, Deputy Cdr, U.S. European Command
NOPEC would enable the Department of Justice to crack down on oil market manipulation by allowing the United States to take legal action against any foreign state and/or their state-run oil companies for price fixing and other anti-competitive activities. Enacting NOPEC into law would combat the price-fixing, anti-competitive antics of the cartel, ensuring a free, transparent, and stable oil market with substantially reduced risk of sudden swings in price and supply.
SAFE Founder and president, Robbie Diamond, added: “When push comes to shove, OPEC can always be expected to shove. Saudi Arabia has claimed to be a responsible market manager but continues to demonstrate that they are anything but responsible. It is time for the U.S. and its allies to end our dependence on a single fuel source for transportation controlled and manipulated on an unfree volatile global market.”
Since its founding in 2004, SAFE has supported measures that reduce U.S. dependency on oil and vulnerability to OPEC. More recently:
- SAFE released “Overcoming America’s Energy Security Mirage” on April 5, 2022 recommending the passage of NOPEC as one of many means to remedy current U.S. energy challenges and reinforce commitment to confront oil market manipulation.
- SAFE published an issue brief in April 2020 recommending NOPEC as a tool to counter the cartel’s action.
- SAFE commissioned a 2019 white paper which described the NOPEC legislation as a “relatively moderate approach” which “remove[s] substantial road blocks that have allowed this cartel to operate in disregard of U.S. antitrust law.”
SAFE enhances the nation’s energy security and supports our economic resurgence and resiliency, by advancing transformative transportation and mobility technologies and ensuring that the United States secures key aspects of the technology supply chain to achieve and maintain our strategic advantage.
In partnership with the Electrification Coalition, SAFE’s sister organization, we work with consumers, businesses, and policymakers, to launch award-winning “real-world” programs and enable the needed polices to accelerate transportation electrification around the country to reduce our Nation’s dependence on oil.