News Release

Iraq Oil Grab

“The United States should assist Iraqi leaders to reorganize the national oil industry as a commercial enterprise…”
— Iraq Study Group

ANTONIA JUHASZ
A visiting scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies, Juhasz just wrote the piece “Oil for Sale: Iraq Study Group Recommends Privatization,” which states: “The [Iraq Study Group] report calls for the United States to assist in privatizing Iraq’s national oil industry, to open Iraq to private foreign oil and energy companies, to provide direct technical assistance for the ‘drafting’ of a new national oil law for Iraq, and for all of Iraq’s oil revenues to accrue to the central government. …

“If these proposals were followed, Iraq’s national oil industry would be privatized, opened to foreign firms, and in control of all of Iraq’s oil wealth.

“The proposals should come as little surprise given that two authors of the report, James A. Baker III and Lawrence Eagleburger, have each spent much of their political and corporate careers in pursuit of greater access to Iraq’s oil and wealth.” Juhasz is author of the book The Bush Agenda: Invading the World, One Economy at a Time.
More Information

JAMES PAUL
Executive director of the Global Policy Forum, Paul has written several pieces about oil including “Oil in Iraq: The Heart of the Crisis.”

He said today: “The Iraq Study Group’s report confirms Washington’s long-standing focus on Iraq’s oil resources, seen as the greatest potential for profits in the history of the industry. The ‘recommendation’ that private foreign companies (read: Exxon, Chevron and BP) take charge of Iraq’s oil has, in fact, been U.S. policy all along.

“The dilemma Baker and colleagues face is how to impose this radical change when Iraq’s government is increasingly shaky, public Iraqi sentiment against the occupation is overwhelming, and the occupation is daily losing control of the country. Houston oil lawyer Baker and his colleagues on the commission may have their hopes and illusions, but the oil scenario they would prefer is looking increasingly horrifying. How much more Iraqi blood will Washington be ready to spill in hopes of controlling the country’s black gold?”
More Information

GREG MUTTITT
Muttitt is lead researcher at the British group Platform. He is the primary author of the report “Crude Designs: The Rip-Off of Iraq’s Oil Wealth” and most recently of the article “Will Iraq Repeat Russia’s Oil Mistakes?”
More Information

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020, (202) 421-6858; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167