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San Francisco Labor Council Resolution
Denounces the Proposed Iraqi Oil Law

Hands Off Iraqi Oil!
WHEREAS, in the opening days of the 2003 Iraq invasion, US soldiers were
ordered to protect the Oil Ministry, oil fields and refineries while
wholesale looting of Iraq's antiquities unfolded. The message to Iraqis was
clear: "We've come for the oil." There were no weapons of mass destruction.
Rather than democracy, the US brought massive destruction and civil war to
Iraq; and

WHEREAS, giving credence to Iraqi fears, the oil cartel has prepared a new
Oil Law which, if enacted by the parliament, will put effective control of
Iraq's vast oil resources in the hands of foreign companies. Nationalized
since 1975, Iraq's oil was, before the years of US sanctions and invasions,
the foundation for a relatively high standard of living, producing more
PhD's per capita than the U.S. and a health care system prized as the best
in the region; and

WHEREAS, President Bush says the war is not about oil but his actions belie
that claim. Before the 2003 invasion, the State Dep't "Oil & Energy Working
Group" met to plan how to open Iraq to foreign oil companies. The proposed
new Oil Law is virtually a photocopy of the "Options" plan first conceived
in Texas long before the US occupied Iraq. The law would create an Oil & Gas
Council, on which would sit representatives of Chevron, Exxon-Mobil, Shell,
BP, etc., whose tasks include approving their own contracts; and

WHEREAS, the practice in Iraq - as in other countries with giant oil
reserves - has been that control of oil production, development and sale
rests with the public sector. Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Iran run their
industries this way. Yet the proposed Oil Law calls for long-term contracts,
handing to foreign companies effective control of Iraq's oil industry for up
to 30 years, and as much as 70% of the profits; and

WHEREAS, the Iraqi people will not take this looting of their national
treasure lying down. The Oil Law has been unanimously and strongly condemned
by all of Iraq's major labor federations, including the Federation of Oil
Unions. The law would make a mockery of Iraqi sovereignty and deprive Iraqis
of the resources they need to rebuild their shattered country; and

WHEREAS, the leadership of the Democratic Party has embraced the draft Oil
Law and put it into the supplemental funding bill as one of the "benchmarks"
by which the Iraqi government will be measured. By doing so, the Democratic
leadership becomes complicit in a backdoor effort to privatize Iraq's
publicly owned oil resources - second largest in the world; therefore be it

RESOLVED, that the San Francisco Labor Council join in solidarity with the
Oil Workers and Trade Unions of Iraq in opposing the proposed new Oil Law,
which is nothing less than a hijack of Iraq's oil by the international oil
cartel; and be it further

RESOLVED, that the Council urge Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Congressional
Democrats to clearly oppose this shameful raid on Iraqi oil, and remove
passage of the Oil Law from their list of "benchmarks." The Bush
Administration and IMF are pressing Iraq to adopt this law. It is
unconscionable for the Congress to become partners in trying to shove this
law, which will benefit only the rapacious oil companies, down the throats
of the Iraqi people.

- Adopted by the San Francisco Labor Council May 14, 2007 by unanimous vote.

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