As Iowans cope with record high gasoline prices, Congress is considering legislation today that would hold Middle Eastern oil-producing countries directly responsible for the bounding cost of fuel. Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says previous investigations of individual oil companies and allegations of price-gouging and collusion went nowhere, so this new avenue of action is needed.
Grassley says, "It would bring OPEC into the courts under our anti-trust laws. Presently, a country can’t have the anti-trust laws applied to them and it seems to me that when a country is acting like a business, they ought to be effected by our anti-trust laws the same way companies do in colluding." Grassley is co-sponsoring the bill in the Senate.
Grassley says: "Without a doubt, the 12 countries in OPEC do collude. They made a decision last September to cut one-million barrels of production a day. I bet that one-million barrels of production a day would cut down on the price considerably." He says the U.S. uses about 86-million barrels of petroleum per day while OPEC nations generate about 87-million barrels per day, a margin that leaves little room for error.
Grassley says, "OPEC effects this supply and they ought to be held accountable for it. If that legislation passes the House today, and I think it will, it would bring great emphasis to bringing it up in the Senate." Triple-A-Iowa says the statewide average for self-serve unleaded is $3.35 a gallon, the highest price ever in Iowa, a record that’s increased almost daily for several days running. That $3.35 a gallon is 15-cents a gallon higher than the national average.