Former US Solicitor General Ted Olson spearheads the Saudi Arabia embassy’s effort to defeat passage of the No Oil Producing and Exporting Cartels Act, a measure that would allow the US government to file price-fixing lawsuits against OPEC members for antitrust violations.
Congress has weighed various versions of NOPAC since 2000, according to a report in Bloomberg. Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Mike Lee (R-UT), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Pat Leahy (D-VT) introduced the latest NOPAC rendition.
Saudi Arabia, which pumps a third of the world’s oil, is the largest member of OPEC.
Past NOPEC efforts died under presidents George Bush II and Barack Obama. NOPEC, though, may be viewed more favorably by president Trump, a long-time critic of OPEC.
The Saudis agreed to pay Olson’s firm, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, a flat fee of $250K for its NOPEC work, according to its Aug. 29 agreement with the DC law firm.
The fee covers preparation of a white paper, suitable for public dissemination, opposing OPEC; more in-depth legal analysis and preparation of an op-ed.
The engagement calls for an additional flat monthly fee of $100K per month for Olson's preparation time, in the event the Saudis want him to hold meetings with members of Congress.
GD&C stands ready to “expand the engagement to encompass other matters (e.g., congressional testimony)” for a mutually acceptable fee, according to its agreement.