White House Gas Price Probe Should Spark NOPEC Reintroduction

Washington, D.C.—As the White House directed the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to investigate any anti-competitive conduct on gasoline prices, SAFE President and CEO Robbie Diamond made the following statement:

“If the White House and the FTC want to comprehensively protect American consumers and businesses from price spikes at the pump, the root cause—OPEC collusion—must be addressed.  For decades, coordinated OPEC production has ensured there is no free market for oil, and it is the U.S. economy that routinely bears the brunt of this activity—from the 1973 Oil Crisis to the 2020 Saudi-Russia price war.”

“For decades, the Sherman Act has stopped groups of companies from conspiring to restrict trade.  NOPEC would simply ensure that the Act’s standards are also applied to the oil companies of OPEC nations that routinely meet to agree on how much oil they will produce.”

Described by antitrust scholars in an independent 2019 white paper commissioned by SAFE as “relatively moderate” legislation, the No Oil Producing and Exporting Cartels Act (NOPEC) would amend the Sherman Act to allow the executive branch to prevent OPEC from using a sovereign immunity defense and the Act of State doctrine to evade U.S. antitrust law.

In April 2020, SAFE published an issue brief recommending NOPEC as a tool to counter the cartel’s actions.  The threat of the legislation already modified OPEC+ behavior: OPEC members were urged not to mention oil prices in their discussions, and the legislation was also reportedly behind Russia’s decision not to join the cartel permanently.

Contact: Alex Adams | 202.461.2374 | aadams@secureenergy.org

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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.