US oil group opposes bill allowing OPEC lawsuit

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NEW YORK, May 2 (Reuters) – A major U.S. oil and natural gas trading group has come out against the passage of a bill that would expose the OPEC oil-producing group and the countries working with him to prosecution for collusion over the rise in oil prices.

The legislation could have unintended negative consequences for the U.S. oil and natural gas industry, while likely having limited impact on the market concerns driving the bill, the American Petroleum Institute (API) said in a letter seen by Reuters on Monday and addressed to the chairman and ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

The letter comes as the committee is expected to review the bill as early as this week. Read more

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Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24, the Biden administration has struggled to contain a volatile energy market that has seen oil prices temporarily hit a 14-year high. US gas prices at the pump are over $4 a gallon ahead of the November midterm elections.

In its letter, API said the U.S. oil industry, which has more than doubled U.S. crude production over the past decade, has dampened the influence of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in the oil market.

“Legislative efforts that bolster U.S. energy production would be the best approach to ensuring market stability and protecting America’s energy security,” API said in the letter dated Friday.

The NOPEC bill gives the United States Attorney General the ability to sue oil-producing nations, such as those in OPEC, under anti-trust laws. A similar version was passed by the US House Judiciary Committee last year.

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Reporting by Stephanie Kelly; Editing by Daniel Wallis

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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