Congress has routinely offered up legislation to curtail OPEC’s dominion over global oil markets during the last 20 years. And this year is no different.

In early August, a bipartisan group of lawmakers led by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), reintroduced the “No Oil Producing and Exporting Cartels Act,” also known as NOPEC.

“We’ve seen time and again how OPEC has colluded to set global oil prices, bringing uncertainty and high prices to consumers around the globe,” Grassley said.

NOPEC would authorize the U.S. Department of Justice to sue OPEC member nations for antitrust violations by closing up loopholes of sovereign immunity within The Sherman Act. The bill would make it illegal for collective foreign nations to limit production or distribution of petroleum products; set or maintain the price of any petroleum product or otherwise take action to restrain trade.

Current law renders the U.S. powerless to stop the world’s 13 oil-producing nations from “coordinating oil production to manipulate prices, driving up costs for millions of Americans,” said co-author Sen. Amy Klobucher, (D-Minn.).

Grassley’s commentary during introduction of the bill covered a lot of ground. The cartel needs “to know that we are committed to stopping their anti-competitive” way of doing things; the U.S. focus should remain on developing domestic clean, renewable and alternative energy resources; and all the while, the U.S. must reduce its dependence on foreign oil, “especially when it’s artificially and illegally priced.”

It’s an ambitious program for legislation that routinely fails.

The lawmaker’s animosity toward OPEC’s fossil fuel domination expressed in the same breath as his embrace of new energy sources piqued my interest. It puts into context a key paragraph that I’ve fixated on that’s tucked inside a bit of light reading on my desk since June—the Energy Policy Research Foundation’s “A Critical Assessment of the IEA’s Net Zero Scenario, ESG, and the Cessation of Investment in New Oil and Gas Fields.”

The 100+ page white paper is actually a weighty proposition. The forward written by Rupert Darwall, a senior fellow at the RealClear Foundation, alone is worth reflection. And that’s where I found the OPEC idea that brings an interesting, perhaps alarming, thought into play.

Darwall posits that the International Energy Agency’s roadmap published in its Net Zero by 2050 report repositions OPEC’s role in global oil supply, taking its market share from currently around 37% to 52% in 2050, “higher than at any point in the history of oil markets.”

Moreover, the analysis reckons that if oil demand exceeds the IEA’s projections, and non-OPEC producers buckle under pressure of ESG investors to curtail oil production while OPEC cranks away at the IEA’s stated policies scenario, then OPEC’s market share grows to 82% by 2050.

Let that sink in for a minute.

“Wittingly or otherwise, ESG investors are undermining the security interests of the West during a period of rising geopolitical tensions,” Darwall wrote.

Meanwhile, OPEC and its allies (OPEC+) have extended a voluntary 1 MMbbl/d output cut—in place for July and August—through September. That’s in addition to the 1.66 MMbbl/d some OPEC players have in place through the end of next year.

The fact of OPEC’s market share means its decisions to adjust its production influence global oil prices; that’s a benefit of being a cartel. So when the group lowers supply, the theory is that oil prices will increase, and the reverse also tends to be true.

The NOPEC lawmakers aim to stop OPEC from influencing the price of oil while the U.S. figures out how to pivot toward clean methods of producing oil and/or develop alternative fuels. We’ve seen OPEC’s reaction toward U.S. policy indecision and fuel anxiety in the past. It’s not comforting, nor does it support a logical argument to manage OPEC via scattershot political posturing.