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OPEC: NOPEC bill will hurt U.S.

June 28, 2007 at 9:26 PM

ISTANBUL, Turkey, June 28 (UPI) -- New U.S. legislation to allow OPEC members to be sued for oil prices could lead to a U.S. oil shortage, OPEC's president warned Wednesday in Istanbul.

"If the United States wants to sue member countries, it's extremely dangerous," Mohamed bin Dhaen al Hamli said at the Cambridge Energy Research Associates' "East Meets West: New Frontiers of Energy Security" conference.

The U.S. Senate is to take up the No Oil Producing and Exporting Cartels Act of 2007, also known as NOPEC, after the House of Representatives approved it last month. It would allow the federal government to sue OPEC countries for organizing an oil price racket. President Bush has vowed to veto the bill.

It comes as oil prices remain high, hovering near $70 a barrel, and gas prices at more than $3 a gallon.

Hamli, the energy minister of the United Arab Emirates, said OPEC members are not bound by OPEC decisions, willing to disregard production quotas on their own. He said NOPEC threatens the individual countries' sovereignty.

And, he added, it could cause them to stop selling oil to the United States to avoid legal action. The United States imports more than 60 percent of the oil it consumes.


Ben Lando, UPI Energy Correspondent

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