Thomas Pyle, president of the Institute for Energy Research (IER), issued sharp criticism of the Congress today for passing H.R. 6074 – better known as the ‘NOPEC’ – a bill intended to hold the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) liable under the Sherman Antitrust Act.

H.R. 6047 states: “It shall be illegal and a violation of this Act… to limit the production or distribution of oil, natural gas, or any other petroleum product…or to otherwise take any action in restraint of trade for oil, natural gas, or any petroleum product when such action, combination, or collective action has a direct, substantial, and reasonably foreseeable effect on the market, supply, price, or distribution of oil, natural gas, or other petroleum product in the United States.”

“The Congress itself is guilty of committing the crimes outlined in this legislation,” Pyle said. “In fact, it is a repeat offender. The only difference between the Congress and OPEC in this regard is that OPEC is willing to produce oil for its citizens and its economies. The U.S. Congress, unfortunately, is not.”

“Instead of doing the real work of the people they represent, Members of Congress are once again pointing fingers at bogeymen,” Pyle continued. “Time and time again over the last several decades, the Congress has refused to lift the restrictions on domestic energy production, and American consumers are paying exorbitant prices today as a result. Based on the recent work of the Congress – including this bill today – it’s clear that relief that for consumers is nowhere in sight.”

All but two of the NOPEC bill’s sponsors are also coauthors of a bill to make ANWR’s coastal plain a permanent wilderness, which would therefore “limit the production or distribution of oil, natural gas, or any other petroleum product…” from a small area that could produce 1 million barrel per day for consumers. The Congress has also taken dozens of votes that have effectively banned (1) production of the Outer Continental Shelf’s estimated 85 billion barrels of oil and 420 trillion cubic feet of natural gas (2) access to ANWR’s estimated 10.4 billion barrels of oil (3) development of America’s estimated 2 trillion barrels of oil shale, and more. Visit for more information.

The Institute for Energy Research (IER) is a not-for-profit public foundation that conducts intensive research and analysis on the functions, operations, and government regulation of global energy markets. Founded in 1989, IER is funded entirely by tax deductible contributions from individuals, foundations and corporations. No financial support is sought for or accepted from government (taxpayers).

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