Kucinich on the Justice Department Suing OPEC

This is a rush transcript from "Your World with Neil Cavuto," May 20, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Well, just say NOPEC — the House passing a bill today that clears the way for the Justice Department to sue OPEC over these high oil prices.

Ohio Congressman, former presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich one of the original sponsors of that legislation.

Congressman, how do you sue OPEC?

REP. DENNIS KUCINICH (D), OHIO: Well, there's courts of international jurisdiction that the Justice Department will now be empowered to be able to devise a lawsuit that would challenge the cartel.

But let it be said that this is only one of many tools that the federal government should be using right now. Neil, I happen to think our international policies are probably creating additional pressure for OPEC to use oil as a way of trying to dissipate America's aggressive reach into the Middle East. And I also think that we need to, as the previous person said...

Video: Watch Neil's interview with Dennis Kucinich

CAVUTO: Wait. Wait. Wait. Wait. Wait a minute. How does one relate to the other? I mean, OPEC has done this time and again. It did it in the early '70s, did it in the late '70s, right?

KUCINICH: I know. But there is an extra excuse here.

And that is that the Bush administration has taken policies that have caused instability throughout the Middle East. And the only way that the Middle East can fight back through their friends and allies is through the price of oil.


CAVUTO: Wait a minute. Congressman, I love dearly, but are you saying that this run-up that OPEC has apparently fostered is to stick it to President Bush?

KUCINICH: No. I am saying that his policies have left us open to the kind of aggressive pricing that would be a retaliatory response to our economic — to our foreign military policy. I'm absolutely saying that.


CAVUTO: But what if it is not even sinister, Congressman? What if it's just the fact you have got a booming global economy; you have got China and India that are slopping up all this oil faster than we can these days, and that that is the not-so-sinister response to what is going on here, nothing to do with President Bush?


KUCINICH: Let's say it's not — let's say — well, it isn't only about him.

Let me agree with you for a moment and say, well, it is not sinister. Then, we have an obligation to protect consumers in the marketplace, who are now looking at $4, maybe $5, by the time summer comes around, a gallon of gasoline.

CAVUTO: How would you protect them? If you wanted to sue through the international courts...


KUCINICH: That is one thing. That does not really solve the problem immediately. You know, certainly, releasing oil in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to increase the supply, thereby dropping the price, that's one thing.

CAVUTO: How about looking for more oil here? How about looking for more oil here?

KUCINICH: Well, you know what? I am for transitioning away from oil.

Oil — the hydrocarbon economy is causing damage to our global climate. That is indisputable. We need to start looking at solar and wind and putting...


CAVUTO: Wait a minute. Wait a minute. You are looking at that, Congressman, but you are against OPEC being stingy with how much oil they're churning out. You can't have it both ways.


KUCINICH: Well, actually, you can in this case, because we can demand fair prices at the same time we're moving towards more accountability with respect to our stewardship of the globe.

Right now, these prices are unfair. They are strangling our economy. Congress should stand up. I am hoping that Congress will pass the windfall profits tax that I brought forward that would have a discipline effect on the oil companies and their egregious profits.

CAVUTO: Do you think it will, though, Congressman? Let's — on the windfall profits tax, the last time we did that, when Jimmy Carter was in office, it had pretty damaging consequences.

KUCINICH: Well, look, this is not — the old companies basically have a free hand under this administration.

And I think that Congress finally today, with the passage of the NOPEC legislation, says, for the first time, look, we will use antitrust tools to go after the oil companies. I think that could have a moderating effect on the pricing of the oil companies. A windfall profits tax would do that.

But we have to go we beyond that, Neil. We have to start looking at the big picture. How do we stop from getting in this position in the future? And that is, we have to move towards alternatives.

I have a proposal for a works green administration, which would create millions of new jobs in the design, engineering, manufacturing, installation, and maintenance of millions of wind and solar microtechnologies that we would install in homes and businesses...

CAVUTO: All right.

KUCINICH: ... that would dramatically reduce our carbon footprint and reduce our need for oil.

So, there's ways of moving away and — from oil, reducing our oil consumption...


KUCINICH: ... that then puts us in a position of causing the price to fall.

CAVUTO: All right. Well, we're with you on the last part of that.

But, Congressman, always good seeing you. Thank you.

KUCINICH: Thank you very much, Neil.

CAVUTO: All right, Dennis Kucinich.

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