Retail Gas Prices, Part 2: Competition in the Oil Industry

Posted by Wonk Room Thu, 22 May 2008 15:00:00 GMT

  • Abdalla Salem El-Badri, secretary general of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries
E&E News:
Tensions are expected to be high Thursday, with Abdalla Salem El-Badri, secretary general of OPEC, invited to testify before the House Judiciary Committee.

The secretary general’s appearance will likely come after the House approves “NOPEC” legislation, a largely symbolic effort to sue OPEC nations for price fixing.

Chairman John Conyers (D-Mich.) and other members will likely question El-Badri over OPEC’s considerable role in the global oil market as well as President Bush’s recent meeting with Saudi leaders to urge them to release additional oil onto the global market.

Several energy analysts, however, say U.S. lawmakers hold little sway with OPEC officials and that calls for OPEC members to increase production is hypocritical given the opposition to increases in domestic drilling.

“We’re not willing to produce more so we are a bad example in terms of resource nationalism,” Lucian Pugliaresi, president of Energy Policy Research Information, told a House panel this month.

Beutel made a similar observation Friday. “We don’t really have the moral high ground when it comes to calling for increased production,” he said.