The U.S. House of Representatives voted on Tuesday to let the Justice Department pursue antitrust and price-fixing cases against OPEC members, including Saudi Arabia, Venezuela and Iran.
The bill passed by a 324-to-84 margin. Even if the Senate approves, President Bush is expected to veto the measure.
A White House press release stated that the measure would discourage investment in the U.S. economy and possibly drive fuel prices higher.
However, Rep. Steve Kagen, D-WI, who sponsored the bill, said it’s time to stand up to an oil cartel that openly manipulates production to influence prices.
The United States imports nearly 6 million barrels of crude oil per day from Saudi Arabia and other OPEC countries. American consumers remain at the mercy of OPEC nations in how much they pay to fill up their tanks, Kagen said.