NOPEC Shows Government Garble at Its Standard Worst

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The politics is bad too, but I’ll leave that aside.

Congress recently passed a piece of legislation known affectionately as NOPEC, which may as well stand for No One Possibly Expects Clarity, but instead is an acronym for The No Oil-Producing and -Exporting Cartels Act."  Okay, I added the hypens because no one in Washington, D.C., could possibly understand compound adjectives, let alone writing basic, clear English.

What this act does is allow Congress and its designated henchmen to sue OPEC countries if they feel the latter has been withholding production of oil and thus artificially raising prices through manipulation of supply and demand.  Good luck with these lawsuits, but let’s take a look at the enabling language of NOPEC:

"It shall be illegal and a violation of this Act," declared the House of Representatives, "to limit the production or distribution of oil, natural gas, or any other petroleum product … or to otherwise take any action in restraint of trade for oil, natural gas or any petroleum product when such action, combination, or collective action has a direct, substantial, and reasonably foreseeable effect on the market, supply, price or distribution of oil, natural gas or other petroleum product in the United States."

As I said, good luck with NOPEC. And good luck with writing clear English.  You’ll need it in both cases.

Categories: Grammar Sucks

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