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Congressman Dennis Kucinich: Prevent Oil Profiteering

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 31, 2008
2:22 PM

CONTACT: Congressman Dennis Kucinich
Phone (202)225-5871

 
Prevent Oil Profiteering
 
WASHINGTON - July 31 - In order to prevent U.S. oil companies from financially benefitting from the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq, Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) will introduce the Oil for Iraq Liberation Act today. The O.I.L. Act will prohibit U.S. based oil companies from developing and investing in the petroleum resources of Iraq.

“The invasion of Iraq was about oil, but it didn’t result in more oil or cheaper gas,” Said Kucinich. “It resulted in war profiteering by oil companies who benefitted by keeping Iraqi oil off the market.”

Kucinich added, “Iraq needs oil revenue now more than ever as they try to rebuild their country.”

Yet Congress has passed legislation that requires Iraq to match the U.S. dollar for dollar in reconstruction funds. Iraq’s primary source of reconstruction funds is oil revenue.

The Wall Street Journal recently reported that former Assistant Secretary of Defense, Richard Perle, has been pursuing oil-drilling contracts with Iraq’s Kurdistan Regional Government.

Mr. Perle resigned from his chairmanship on March 28, 2003 just after the U.S. invasion of Iraq, amid controversy over the potential for his business interests to profit from the war in Iraq.

“This administration wants to siphon money away from Iraq reconstruction, and toward further inflation of big oil profits, while demanding that Iraq bears more of the reconstruction costs. Now an architect of the illegal, unjustified war may be trying to profit from it personally”

“Actions such as this undermine U.S. foreign policy by depriving Iraqis of their constitutionally guaranteed rights to their own resources.”

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Excerpts from NBC News: Meet the Press, 23 February 2003 follows:

MR. RUSSERT: Congressman, you made a very strong charge against the administration and let me show you what you said on January 19. "Why is the Administration targeting Iraq? Oil." What do you base that on?

REP. KUCINICH: I base that on the fact that there is $5 trillion worth of oil above and in the ground in Iraq, that individuals involved in the administration have been involved in the oil industry, that the oil industry certainly would benefit from having the administration control Iraq, and that the fact is that, since no other case has been made to go to war against Iraq, for this nation to go to war against Iraq, oil represents the strongest incentive.

I believe most sincerely that one of the motivating factors involved in this effort to strike against Iraq is the desire on the part of some to be able to control the oil interests in Iraq. I believe that.

MR. PERLE: I find the accusation that this administration has embarked upon this policy for oil to be an outrageous, scurrilous charge for which, when you asked for the evidence, you will note there was none. There was simply the suggestion that, because there is oil in the ground and some administration officials have had connections with the oil industry in the past, therefore, it is the policy of the United States to take control of Iraqi oil. It is a lie, Congressman. It is an out and out lie. And I'm sorry to see you give credence to it.

REP. KUCINICH: I want to answer that. And that is that I think all over America, people are aware this administration has not made a case to go to war in Iraq. And people are asking, "Well, if America is not at threat, then what's this about?" And many people are wondering: "How did our oil get under their sand?" # # #

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