Sunday, September 02, 2007

Congress held hearing on Iraq OIL THEFT law

I was wondering if Congress was EVER going to look into the Iraq oil theft law Bush is pushing on the Iraqis that gives over 80% of their oil income to big oil companies. Apparently, Congress had hearings on this issue at the heart of the war way back on July 18, but no one in the media made noise about it until I saw this in Charlie Cray's column on Huffington Post August 31:
It's not like there's any need to rush to pass the law for Iraq to produce oil. Iraq has 115 billion barrels of proven reserves in 80 fields (20 of which are currently in production). If it were to build up to a capacity of 10 bbd production, it wouldn't have to discover any new reserves for at least ten years.

Yet for some reason the Iraqis are under a lot of pressure to pass a law allowing for the exploration of additional oil. The reason, of course, is because the multinational oil companies, whose own proven oil reserves have been in steep decline, see Iraq's untapped reserves as the bigger prize.

And as Tariq Shafiq, one of the three-member team charged with drafting the petroleum law for the Iraq Ministry of Oil suggested at the hearing, because Iraq itself doesn't need to develop those untapped reserves for another decade, pressure to immediately implement any provision that would open them up for exploration and development "fuels the argument" that the Americans and British "are there for the oil."

There are many indications that the Iraqi people see the game pretty clearly. A Univ. of Michigan poll cited at the beginning of the hearing found that even before the framework draft was introduced, 76 percent of Iraqis believe the U.S. invaded Iraq to control its oil.



Chair Rep. Gary Ackerman opening statement

Joseph A. Christoff, of the GAO

Tariq Shafiq, one of the Iraqis who worked on the law

Issam Michael Saliba, senior foreign law specialist, law library of congress

I'm glad they had the hearing, but you would think it would merit more than three witnesses and one day. They might have listened to the Iraqi oil union workers, scholars, and oil bureaucrats, and even some members of the current government who have said this law is designed to rip them off.


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