The price Of Gasoline And The Patently Absurd Application Of Our Sovereign Immunity Law
The title of the article in Friday’s Wall Road Journal — “Drivers Feel Pinch of Climbing Gasoline Prices” — says all of it. But now we have an anomaly in our courts, irresponsibly supported by the executive and legislative branches of our government, in the manner that our courts interpret Sovereign Immunity and, in flip, its influence on our each day lives. Technically talking, Sovereign Immunity is a authorized doctrine by which the sovereign state can’t commit a legal unsuitable and is due to this fact immune from civil go well with or authorized prosecution. Yet here it has been prolonged by our courts, with the backing of our executive branch and the acquiescence of our legislative branch, to giving sure national commercial entities a free pass overriding our legal guidelines such as those relating to anti-belief and business collusion.
Fairly incredibly sovereign immunity has for years been prolonged to the machinations of OPEC cartel members and their very significant enterprise interests within the United States. Just last Could a turning valve ceremony came about at Port Arthur, Texas, bringing on stream the enlargement of the Motiva Refinery, now the largest refinery within the United States oil production per year owned and operated jointly by Saudi Aramco (Saudi Arabia’s national oil firm) and Shell (a lot in the way of the Aramco-Shell “SASREF” refinery working on the very heart of Saudi Arabia’s petrochemical industry, Jubail Industrial Metropolis).
But OPEC’s tentacles prolong additional into U.S. gasoline and petroleum product manufacturing and their markets. Here we have now happily gouging American shoppers by the OPEC-manipulated value of oil, the vast presence of Petroleos de Venezuela’s (PDVSA, Venezuela’s nationally owned oil firm) with refineries and facilities in Houston and Corpus Christie Texas; Lamont, In poor health.; Paulsboro, N.J.; Lake Charles and Chalmette in Louisiana; Savannah, Ga. and St. Croix in the Virgin Islands refining and advertising and marketing gasoline, jet fuel, diesel, petrochemicals, lubricants, asphalt. All together with a capability of more than 1,000,000 barrels per day — this while proudly owning and working greater than thirteen,000 gasoline stations throughout the U.S. and Puerto Rico.
Right here we’ve got two major players in the U.S. gasoline market whose mother or father company’s objective shouldn’t be to supply competitively priced gasoline and petroleum products to service the U.S. market and its pinched consumers, but quite to keep the value of oil high and have the quoted price of WTI (West Texas Intermediate — the U.S. benchmark on the commodity exchanges) quoted at ranges approaching those of Brent Crude (the extra international and considerably greater benchmark worth quoted on the London Change).
Being tied to the OPEC Cartel, their goals can readily be alleged to be at clear variance with these of a stand alone refinery needing to supply its crude oil within the market. The stand alone refinery would do its utmost to acquire the least expensive source of crude and do all it may to reduce the price of oil in its procurement insurance policies thereby servicing the gasoline market at the most competitive price doable. 30,000 cubic cans Not so with the OPEC Frankensteins given their cozy and open access to our markets whose targets might be fairly construed to push up the price of the core enter of the refining trade, crude oil.
Would the integrated U.S.-primarily based producers of crude oil and refined petroleum merchandise such as ExxonMobil, Chevron, and so forth. collude as to the output and pricing of their crude oil production they would be behind bars lengthy since. An in depth Justice Department look on the machinations of crude oil procurement of Motiva and Citgo might yield some significant and oil market transferring/gasoline pricing outcomes.
Astonishingly, our authorities, most particularly the executive department, has been a staunch defender of the court’s interpretation of sovereign immunity as it applies to the distortions vested on the American shopper by OPEC national oil companies. In the case of Spectrum Shops Inc. v Citgo Petroleum Company (case no. 09-20084 -C.A. 5. Feb. 8, 2011), alleging that Citgo, as an oil production firm in its affiliation with the OPEC member PDVSA, was in violation of the Sherman Act and Clayton antitrust act, the courtroom dominated for Citgo citing the next rationale:
“As a result of the political query doctrine is jurisdictional, we handle it first. After we accomplish that, we discern that the complaints before us successfully problem the construction of OPEC and its relation to the worldwide production of petroleum. Satisfied that these matters deeply implicate concerns of overseas and protection policy, issues that constitutionally belong in the government and legislative departments, we conclude that we lack jurisdiction to adjudicate the claims. We hold alternatively that the complaints search a remedy that is barred by the act of state doctrine, that’s, an order and judgment that will interfere with sovereign nations’ control over their very own natural sources. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment dismissing the complaints.”
Astoundingly, in whole disregard of the financial and financial injury that the OPEC-related oil corporations are inflicting on both nationwide and worldwide economies our govt branch had gone full bore in siding with the courts decision by having the Justice Department, the Commerce Department, the Department of Vitality, State Division submit amicus briefs in help of the Appellees (Citgo et. al.) and in affirmation of the judgment.
The legislative department of our authorities has been more proactive on this difficulty (please see (“NOPEC ‘No Oil Producing and Exporting Cartels Act’: A Presidential Situation and Test of Political Integrity” 09.10.12) from which the next is taken:
“But some years in the past, in 2007, there was a real effort to vary the equation in a basic means when Congress voted overwhelmingly, in defiance of the oil lobby and their allied pursuits for the NOPEC bill, so named because it might permit the international oil cartel, OPEC, and its nationwide oil corporations operating exterior the legislation, hiding behind our sovereign immunity shield, to be sued and held accountable for what are clearly anti-competitive makes an attempt to limit the world’s supply of petroleum and the consequent affect on oil prices.
In defiance of oil interests Congress voted overwhelmingly for the Bill (70 votes to 23 within the Senate and 345 to 72 in the Home). This was an act of refreshing and courageous leadership by our Congress only to be abandoned after President George W. Bush, that nice stalwart of oil pursuits and friend of Saudi Arabia, made it clear that he would veto the invoice ought to it land on his desk.”
Regretfully the Obama administration has done little on this issue as pointed out in the weblog post above, other than have its companies file amicus briefs in help of our courts present interpretation of Sovereign Immunity while American customers wrestle with gas costs that have risen by 50 cents prior to now month alone.
It’s unimaginable that at this time and beneath these circumstances we’re giving a free cross to members of the OPEC coven, one thing we denied to John D. Rockefeller and his Customary Oil. At that time the reining in of the standard Oil monopoly was an act of nationwide policy that was key to making a freely competitive market that was essential to America’s emerging industrial ascendancy.
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