Judicial Watch founder sues OPEC for price-fixing

Larry Klayman, founder of Judicial Watch, which filed more than a dozen lawsuits against the Clinton administration alleging cover-ups, brought suit in Miami district court against the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), accusing the cartel of price-fixing. “It’s now quite obvious that what they’re doing is intentional,” Klayman told the New York Times. “What they’re trying to do is bring Western economies to their knees. It’s extremely clever.”

Klayman told the newspaper he filed the suit partly to goad the Republican Party into action. “This is going to cost them the election,” he said. “We haven’t seen an economy this bad since Jimmy Carter.”

Klayman also sued Vice President Dick Cheney, demanding the release of records from his energy task force. The Supreme Court upheld executive privilege in the case.

This time, the Times reports, he “has more friends on the left than the right.” Last month, it was House Democrats that approved a bill to allow the government to sue OPEC for conspiring to manipulate the world oil prices—while most Republicans have been reticent. Rep. K. Michael Conaway (R-TX) warned that suits against OPEC could inspire harsh retaliation and “may even limit the availability of gasoline to the United States.”

Klayman said he is not surprised by such responses. “A lot of these politicians are in bed with the Saudi royal family,” he said. “It’s time to take the kid gloves off.” (NYT, June 10)

See our last post on the global struggle for control of oil.