Rep. McDermott against Iraq oil law

June 22, 2007 at 4:32 PM

WASHINGTON, June 22 (UPI) -- U.S. Rep. Jim McDermott, D-Wash., has signed on to a statement from Nobel laureates opposing the Iraq oil law and urged other members of Congress to follow.

McDermott sent a letter Thursday to every member of Congress, announcing his siding with five Nobel Peace Prize Laureates' position on both the draft Iraq oil law and U.S. involvement in it.

The laureates -- Betty Williams, Mairead Corrigan Maguire, Jody Williams, Shirin Ebadi and Wangari Maathai, members of the Nobel Women's Initiative -- warn the law will lead to lopsided contracts that favor foreign oil companies over Iraqis.

They also criticize U.S. pressure on the Iraqi government to pass the oil law, which has come from both the Bush administration and the Democratic-led Congress.

The law, stuck in negotiations now, would determine what control the federal versus regional/provincial governments would have over the oil, as well as foreign access to oil.

"Jim for a long time has believed that oil is at the heart of the conflict, from permanent (military) bases to the oil law," McDermott spokesman Mike DeCesare told United Press International. "That's the definition of victory for the administration."

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