Washington, D.C. — A bill sponsored by Senator Chuck Grassley would lay the groundwork for anti-trust lawsuits against members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, or OPEC.

The bill would revoke the immunity countries in OPEC have had from lawsuits in the United States. The U.S. Attorney General could then sue Saudi Arabia and the other 12 countries that are OPEC members in federal court.

The bill is co-sponsored by a Republican senator from Utah and Democratic senators from Vermont and Minnesota. The bill cleared the Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday. Federal anti-trust laws give courts authority to determine when American businesses have acted illegally, but it’s unclear how a U.S. court would be able to enforce a guilty verdict against a foreign country.

The Reuters news service is reporting that the American Petroleum Institute opposes the bill, warning it could have unintended consequences and is unlikely to have much impact on OPEC operations.

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