Support the Iraqi Desire to Keep its own Oil Revenue by Dennis Kucinich

Dandelion Salad

Congressman Dennis Kucinich
Washington, Oct 22, 2008

Rejects Bush’s Logic Iraqi Oil is Necessary to Protect National Security

Following a declaration by President Bush that he would like the U.S. to have the ability to control Iraq’s oil, Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) today sent a letter to Members of Congress calling on his colleagues to co-sponsor H.R. 6710, the Oil for Iraq Liberation Act of 2008 which prohibits U.S.-based oil companies from owning, financing or controlling the petroleum resources of Iraq.

Congressman Kucinich renewed his call for support of the O.I.L. Act after President Bush issued a signing statement last week that rejected a provision in S. 3001, the Duncan Hunter Defense Authorization Act, that ensured that funds would not be used “[t]o exercise United States control of oil resources in Iraq.” President Bush asserted in the signing statement that the provision would inhibit his constitutional authority to “protect national security” or “conduct diplomatic negotiations.”

“The nations of the Middle East have chosen for decades to nationalize their oil resources. Iraq has committed to continuing this practice by constitutionally guaranteeing that the oil and gas resources of Iraq are owned by all the people of Iraq. That is their sovereign right, and the United States must support the Iraqi desire to keep its own oil revenue. Since the President has shown he doesn’t respect Iraq’s sovereign rights, Congress must pass H.R. 6710, and stop U.S. companies and individuals from profiting off of Iraq’s oil revenues,” stated Kucinich.

The full text of the letter follows:

U.S. to Control Iraq’s Oil?

October 22, 2008

Dear Colleague:

Recently President Bush issued a signing statement rejecting a provision in S. 3001, the Duncan Hunter Defense Authorization Act.  The provision Mr. Bush rejected ensured that funds would not be used “[t]o exercise United States control of the oil resources of Iraq.”  The President’s assertion in the signing statement that the provision would inhibit his constitutional authority to “protect national security” or “conduct diplomatic negotiations” is misguided.

Handling of Iraq’s petroleum resources is a controversial issue.  The Iraqi Parliament has long been unable to come to a consensus on Iraq’s “Hydrocarbon Act” and there are many differing opinions on how to ensure equitable distribution of the resources amongst Iraqis.  As a sovereign nation, Iraq must control and make decisions about its own resources without U.S. interference.  Control of Iraq’s oil resources by the U.S. government would fuel suspicions around the world that the occupation of Iraq has been solely to ensure U.S. interests in Iraq’s petroleum resources.  Moreover, it will continue to promote mistrust among the citizens of Iraq by reinforcing the belief among Iraqis that waging the Iraq war was about U.S. oil interests.  This will undoubtedly promote ill will toward the U.S., and diminishes the safety of our troops and our standing within the global community.  U.S. control of Iraq’s oil resources serves to make our nation less safe, undercuts diplomacy and undermines U.S. foreign policy by depriving Iraqis of their constitutionally guaranteed right to their own resources.

I encourage you to join me as a cosponsor of H.R. 6710, the Oil for Iraq Liberation Act of 2008.  This important bill prevents U.S. based oil companies from development of and investment in the petroleum resources of Iraq.   Absent any legislation, oil companies like Halliburton and Exxon-Mobil could reap billions of dollars from Iraqi oil privatization.

The nations of the Middle East have chosen for decades to nationalize their oil resources, thus shutting out foreign oil companies.  Iraq has committed to continue this practice by constitutionally guaranteeing that the oil and gas resources of Iraq are owned by all the people of Iraq.  The United States must support the Iraqi desire to keep its own oil revenue.  H.R. 6710 will stop U.S. companies and individuals from profiting off of Iraq’s oil revenues and ensure that this money remains in the hands of the Iraqi people.

Sincerely,

/S/

Dennis J. Kucinich
Member of Congress

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3 thoughts on “Support the Iraqi Desire to Keep its own Oil Revenue by Dennis Kucinich

  1. Shaine,

    A “Signing Statement” is merely a written comment issued by a President at the time of signing legislation. The more controversial statements involve claims by presidents that they believe some part of the legislation is unconstitutional and therefore they intend to ignore it or to implement it only in ways they believe is constitutional.

    President George W. Bush has routinely asserted that he will not act contrary to the constitutional provisions that direct the president to “supervise the unitary executive branch.” Basically, Bush asserts that Congress cannot pass a law that undercuts the constitutionally granted authorities of the President.

    So signing statements are constitutional as a whole, but it could be argued that any singular one wasn’t constitutional. Worse, much of this is part of an ongoing battle between the Executive and Legislative branches of the federal government. They’re both trying to expand their respective powers in various areas.

  2. The question that should be asked is What is the president’s constitutional authority concerning “signing statements?” Are that at all legal? Has the Supreme Court looked at this issue?
    Why doesn’t Kucinich bring this before the court?

  3. Here’s the problem with Kucinich’s rather poorly thought out idea;

    Oil for Iraq Liberation Act of 2008 – Prohibits:
    (1) the entry into or the performance by a U.S. person or an entity owned or controlled by such person of a contract that includes overall management responsibility for petroleum development in Iraq, a contract for financing petroleum development in Iraq, or the guaranty of another person’s performance under either such contract;
    (2) any investment by such person in Iraq’s petroleum resources; and
    (3) any transaction by such person that evades or violates such prohibitions. Sets forth penalties for violation of such prohibitions.

    This idiotic bill would prevent and US investor or corporation from taking any part in the reopening of Iraqi oil refineries and/or oil fields. This would either dramatically slow down Iraq’s capability to redevelop its much needed petroleum industry or force them to seek other foreign investors.

    It should be noted that many Middle Eastern countries’ oil resources are developed through the money provided by foreign investors and corporations. Saudi Arabia finances much of Yemen’s products.

    Now, it’s very true that Iraq should hold title to its own resources, but this bill is over-the-top. It’s just another case of Kucinich’s Bush Derangement Syndrome cause him to jump the shark again.

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