Madinat al-Muslimeen Islamic Message Board
|US shows OPEC who's the boss|
|04/07/01 at 11:27:10|
|THU APR 05 2001 07:04 P.M. G.M.T. |
OPEC slams US Senate bill on oil prices as absurd
VIENNA, April 5 (AFP) - OPEC Secretary General Ali Rodriguez condemned as "absurd" Thursday a proposed US Senate bill which would allow legal action against OPEC member countries over fixing oil prices or output.
The bill would let US authorities bring action against foreign states "for alleged collusive practices in setting the price or production levels of petroleum products," said the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) head.
"To judge an organization -- whose members are sovereign states and act to defend their common interests -- as a simple commercial entity is an absurdity that violates the most basic legal principles," he said in a statement.
"One of these legal principles was the sovereign right set out by the United Nations of nations to use their natural resources, he added.
He quoted one of the senators behind the bill, Herb Kohl, as having said that "people suffer real consequences every day in our nation because of OPEC's actions."
The other Mike Dewine, was quoted as saying that "as long as OPEC is allowed to control the world's energy supply, we are guaranteed to have more and more .. shocks and therefore more and more problems for US consumers."
OPEC has recently come under pressure from oil consuming countries -- of which the United States is the largest -- over high crude oil prices, which soared to record levels over 35 dollars a barrel last year.
"The spikes seen in fuel prices last year occurred, paradoxically, at a time when there was an over-supply of crude oil in the US," said Rodriguez.
"Thus, the sharp fuel prices increases, as Messrs Kohl and Dewine must know, were generated by a bottleneck of supplies of gasoline and other fuels, due in turn to new stringent environmental regulations, combined with declining US refining capacity," he added.
"The political nature of this case is absolutely undeniable. It has been brought about by domestic problems in US politics," said Rodriguez.
Copyright (c) 2001, AFP
[sub] [This post was modified by Saleema on 04/07/01 at 11:27:10]
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