February 26, 2007

THIS SOUNDS POSITIVE:

The Iraqi cabinet approved a draft of a law today that would set guidelines for countrywide distribution of oil revenues and foreign investment in the immense oil industry. The endorsement marked a major agreement among the country’s ethnic and sectarian political blocs on one of Iraq’s most divisive issues.

The draft law approved by the cabinet allows the central government to distribute oil revenues to the provinces or regions by population, which could lessen the economic concerns of the rebellious Sunni Arabs, who fear being cut out of Iraq’s vast potential oil wealth by the dominant Shiites and Kurds.

The law also grants regional oil companies the power to sign contracts with foreign companies for exploration and development of fields, opening the door for investment by foreign oil companies in a country whose oil reserves rank among the world’s top three in size.

It’s not the oil trust idea, but it will give a lot of people a stake in a more peaceful and prosperous Iraq.