To become law, a bill must pass every session of the Senate and House of Representatives and then be signed by the president. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said the administration was concerned about the “potential implications and unintended consequences” of the law. She said the White House is still studying the bill.
Mills told CNN why US politicians are making another attempt to crush OPEC:
How is this attempt different from previous ones?
There have been various versions of this since 2000, and they pop up whenever oil prices are high. It never went away and it never got much traction. This time he received more support in the government, partly in Russia.
Biden is also under political pressure due to inflation. There are some political reasons to blame OPEC for the high level of oil production.
How have Saudi Arabia and other OPEC countries responded to similar attempts in the past?
They have always lobbied against it and will lobby again. I’m not sure how strong their lobbying power is right now. Currently they are not very popular in Washington, but they have their own lobbyists.
How do you think oil-producing countries will react to the bill?
I don’t think the countries of the Middle East can continue to restrict production and refuse to play this game. They may be more accommodating and agree to increase production. [but] they would not like to be seen doing it under duress. EU ban on imports of Russian oil will come into force after some time [so] OPEC and OPEC+ may have a few extra months when it turns out that there is not enough oil, and this gives them reason to say: “well, we will increase production and fill this gap.” Thus, they can do so as a market measure without succumbing to political pressure.
How likely is this bill to pass in the Senate and House of Representatives? Is there a chance that Biden will pass it too?
Having one more card to play will be very attractive to the administration, even if they don’t let it go until the end. The NOPEC bill is an added element at a time when the US doesn’t have many cards to play with. [against oil producers]. Many of these bills have appeared in the past, and there is always some kind of national security argument that [oil producing states] are our allies, that we don’t want to disrupt our relationship with them, and that they are important to the oil market. But this time, there are a few elements that could give him a better chance.
[Biden] either skip it or say “I vetoed it because the Saudis agreed to something for us.” [like] agree on an increase in production or something like that. He can’t just veto for no reason because it’s just another weapon against him from both the Republicans and the progressive left Democrats. [doing the] The Saudis are a favor at a time when oil prices are high.
Had Saudi Arabia and other manufacturers not vetoed it, it would have been seen as a hostile move.
Could the passage of this bill have detrimental consequences for the US itself?
The recovery in prices has been very good for the US oil industry. But there is not much free capacity [in the US]. Even if Saudi Arabia and the UAE use all their spare capacity, the market will still be quite tight, and with the withdrawal of Russia, the market will become even tighter.
This transcript has been edited for length and clarity.
US says it’s preparing for peace with and without Iran nuclear deal
The United States is now preparing equally for a mutual return to Iran’s compliance with the nuclear deal and a no-deal scenario, the State Department said Wednesday.
- Background: The main stumbling block in the negotiations is Iran’s demand that its Revolutionary Guard be removed from the US list of foreign terrorist organizations. The U.S. Senate passed a non-binding resolution on Wednesday calling on the Biden administration not to agree to a nuclear deal with Iran unless Tehran accepts tough minimum requirements, such as preventing oil exports to China, containing its ballistic missile program and continuing sanctions. against the Revolutionary Guard.
- Why is it important: The failure of negotiations to restart the nuclear deal with Iran will deprive the oil markets of more than a million new barrels of Iranian oil, which could reduce the rise in oil prices and, in turn, curb inflation.
Iran to execute Swedish Iranian on espionage charges by May 21
An Iranian of Swedish descent sentenced to death in Iran on charges of espionage will be executed on May 21, the semi-official Iranian news agency ISNA reported on Wednesday. The Swedish Foreign Minister called for his release during a telephone conversation with her Iranian counterpart.
- Background: Ahmadreza Jalali, a doctor and researcher, was arrested in 2016 during a visit to Iran. His sentence was announced shortly before the trial of Hamid Nouri, a former Iranian prosecutor who was arrested by Swedish authorities in 2019, ended in Stockholm. Nuri faces a maximum life sentence on charges of international war crimes and human rights violations. Iran called the allegations “baseless”. The verdict is due on July 14th.
- Why is it important: In recent years, the Iranian Revolutionary Guards have arrested dozens of dual citizens, mostly on charges of espionage. Human rights activists have accused Iran of using them as a bargaining chip. Iran, which does not recognize dual citizenship, denies taking prisoners to gain diplomatic influence.
At least 3 killed in Israeli Independence Day bombing
At least three people were killed and four injured in a terrorist attack in the central Israeli city of Elad on Thursday, according to Israel’s emergency response service. Police said two suspects were involved in the incident. According to police, one fired a rifle and another attacked people with an ax or a knife. The suspects have not yet been arrested.
- Background: This attack is the latest in a series of violent incidents that have brought Israel and the Palestinian territories to a standstill in recent weeks. CNN estimates that dozens of people have died in attacks in Israel and the West Bank since March 22.
- Why is it important: The attack came after a period of clashes outside the Al-Aqsa mosque complex in Jerusalem, where Palestinians were protesting the presence of Israeli troops. Only Muslims are allowed to visit the holy site during the last 10 days of Ramadan each year. Ramadan ended last week and groups of Israeli Jews started arriving again on Thursday.
What’s in trend
Turkey: #sigarazammi (cigarette lift)
Turks, already frustrated by record inflation and the economic downturn, have received yet another burden on their budgets this week: the price of cigarettes.
Cigarette prices rose by 2 lira ($0.13) for some brands, ranging from 5% to 10% depending on the type of cigarette, according to Ozgur Aibas, president of the alcohol and cigarette dealer platform known as Tekel. The hashtag lamenting the rise was trending in the country.
“Enough!” one Twitter user tweeted on Thursday about rising cigarette prices. “I quit just in time,” wrote another, claiming to have kicked the habit over a month ago.
Ali Babakan, a former economy minister and current leader of the opposition Deva party, tweeted: “We are experiencing destruction as the purchasing power of people who earn money through their labor is destroyed.”
#enflasyon, or inflation, has also been trending in Turkey.
In February, the Turkish Minister of Economy and Finance said that by June 2023, when parliamentary and presidential elections are held, inflation in the country will be in single digits.