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Iraq Oil Trust Fund Legislation

Guest LAW_*

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Senators John Ensign and Hillary Rodham Clinton introduced legislation directing the United States to present a plan to the Iraqi government for the establishment of an oil trust, giving every Iraqi a share in the country’s oil wealth. The Senators have long championed the proposal as a way to speed political reconciliation in Iraq, give every citizen a stake in the nation’s future, combat corruption and increase transparency. Their legislation requires the Bush Administration to present a plan to the Iraqi government for creating the oil trust and provide assistance in implementing it.


“Our oil trust fund bill for Iraq will help advance political reconciliation, put the future of Iraq in the hands of the Iraqi people and limit corruption because every Iraqi will have a stake in a transparent system,” said Ensign. “By giving control of oil revenues to the Iraqi people, an oil trust fund would also supply a ready source of capital and create a true and realistic sense of ownership in the future of their country.”


Senators Clinton and Ensign have long called for establishing an oil trust for Iraq. In 2006, they authored a column in the Wall Street Journal arguing that securing the future of Iraq’s oil reserves is key to resolving the nation’s political crisis. They laid out a plan for an Iraq Oil Trust modeled on the Alaskan Permanent Fund. Oil revenues would accrue to the national government and a significant percentage would be divided equally among every Iraqi citizen.


The legislation introduced today requires the administration to present the Iraqi government a plan to establish an oil trust. If the administration fails to inform Congress that it has offered such a plan within 90 days of the law’s enactment, it would lose access to 10 percent of the funds designated for the Iraqi Economic Support Fund, with an additional 10 percent being withheld for each additional 30 days of delay.

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