Threat of trade move against OPEC misreads oil market

The subject of oil casts a strange spell on some politicians. It distorts their perceptions.Although members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries are producing crude oil at near-capacity rates to supply a steadily expanding market, Democratic lawmakers see mischief.On July 8, Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) introduced a bill calling for World Trade Organization action against OPEC's quotas (OGJ Online, July 14, 2004). Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) was to introduce a similar bill in the House.Calling OPEC an "illegal cartel," Lautenberg declared, "While OPEC and their oil company allies have seen a boon, American families are paying a high price at the pump."Well, yes, cr...

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