The US House of Representatives has passed one of the most pointless exercises in idiocy to come down the pike in a long while.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved legislation on Tuesday allowing the Justice Department to sue OPEC members for limiting oil supplies and working together to set crude prices, but the White House threatened to veto the measure.
The bill would subject OPEC oil producers, including Saudi Arabia, Iran and Venezuela, to the same antitrust laws that U.S. companies must follow.
The measure passed in a 324-84 vote, a big enough margin to override a presidential veto.
The legislation also creates a Justice Department task force to aggressively investigate gasoline price gouging and energy market manipulation.
OPEC is a cartel of countries, none of which is subject to US law because none are part of the US. They can act in whatever monopolistic way they like because all governments have the right to create monopolies. See US public school systems and utilities for an example. Monopolies and cartels are characterized not by abusive corporate behavior, though that is a likely result of monopolies, but by the government’s intervention in the market to support approved monopolies.
The only result of this bill (if it is signed into law) will be expenditures by consumers in oil-importing countries (mainly the US).
- Costs of the new “anti-gouging” task force will be borne directly by US taxpayers.
- Paperwork costs imposed by the new “anti-gouging” task force on mom-and-pop gas stations will add to the retail price of gas.
- Legal costs of suing OPEC states will be paid by US taxpayers.
- Legal costs of OPEC states’ legal defense will be added to the wholesale price of the petroleum they sell, which will increase the price of gas at the pump.
The wisdom of crowds and the stupidity of Congress should not amaze me, but sometimes I cannot help myself. I stand amazed.
Trackposted to Outside the Beltway, Rosemary’s Thoughts, third world county, Allie is Wired, Woman Honor Thyself, Right Truth, The Pink Flamingo, Dumb Ox Daily News, Conservative Cat, Right Voices, and The Yankee Sailor, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.