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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 3, 2012 Contact: Isabel Munilla - firstname.lastname@example.org (202) 496-1179 office -- (202) 680-4606 mobile Vote Set for Long Overdue SEC Oil and Mining Transparency Rules Move follows calls by over 65 members of Congress for rule release Washington, DC – In a move welcomed by members of the U.S. Congress and the global Publish What You Pay coalition, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) set a date to vote on oil and mining transparency rules included in Section 1504 or the “Cardin-Lugar Amendment” of the Dodd-Frank Consumer Protection and Wall Street Reform Act.
The SEC scheduled the vote on August 22, 2012 following urgent calls from over 65 prominent members of the U.S. Congress for the agency to issue the long-delayed final rules for Section 1504, which requires oil and mining companies to report payments to the U.S. federal and foreign governments as part of their annual reports to the SEC. The announcement also comes just days after Senators Lugar and Cardin requested an investigation by the SEC Inspector General into why the SEC has failed to meet the statutory deadlines for implementing the Cardin-Lugar Amendment.
The provision was passed in July 2010, with a legal requirement for the SEC to issue final regulations by April 17, 2011. In a joint press statement, the Senators said: "The vote on this rule is long overdue. Revenue transparency helps hold leaders accountable, increases energy security and creates American jobs by reducing the operating risk U.S. companies face in inherently unstable markets. The Cardin-Lugar Amendment is a critical part of the increased transparency and corporate responsibility the SEC should be promoting.” said Senator Cardin.
“I look forward to the [SEC] Commissioners approving a strong and clear rule that helps accomplish the purpose of the bill.” “Information is power. It is power for shareholders and power for citizens living under oppressive regimes. With the Cardin-Lugar Amendment, the U.S. is leading the world in the moral and economic necessity to choose transparency over shadow, rule of law over corruption,” said Senator Lugar.
The calls from Senators Cardin and Lugar followed an unprecedented letter sent by bipartisan group of 58 prominent members of the U.S. House of Representatives, including Rep. Edward Markey, Rep. Barney Frank, Rep. Howard Berman, Rep. Jim McDermott, Rep. Maxine Waters and Rep. Frank Wolf, to SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro, calling for the release of final rules for Section 1504 as well as Section 1502, the so-called “conflict minerals” provision.
“Final rules will take the issues of non-transparent payments and conflict minerals out of the shadows and into the open, making it possible to fight corruption, increase government accountability and end the resource curse in developing countries. They will also provide material information for investors to reduce their risk and increase the choices of ethical investment,” said members of Congress in the letter, sent June 22.
Strong implementation of the Cardin-Lugar Amendment, or Section 1504, is a campaign priority for the global Publish What You Pay (PWYP) coalition, which is actively campaigning for strong disclosure rules in Europe, Australia, Southeast Asia and Africa and other crucial markets for the oil, gas and mining sectors.
“These rules are more important than ever, as new oil, gas and mineral development quickly expands in places like Burma, Kenya, Cambodia, Libya and here in the U.S. Gulf states. The SEC must not allow final implementation to slip yet again,” said Isabel Munilla, director of the US chapter of PWYP. “These rules will generate data that will empower communities and civil society organizations to make sure oil and mining dollars are put to work for the public good. We join members of Congress in welcoming the SEC’s vote, and urge the SEC to produce strong final rules.”
## Publish What You Pay is a global civil society coalition that believes that the wealth generated by oil, gas and mining industries can be a pathway to poverty reduction, stable economic growth and development in resource-rich countries. Founded in 2002, PWYP comprises over 600 organizations working from nearly 70 countries that advocate for revenue transparency as a necessary ingredient for accountability.
In the U.S., PWYP comprises 35 members, including development, faith-based, human rights, environmental, financial reform and anti-corruption organizations representing over 2.5 million constituents spread through every state in the nation. www.pwypusa.org PWYP US Members: ActionAid International USA · Amnesty International USA · Bank Information Center · CARE · Catholic Relief Services · Columban Center for Advocacy and Outreach · CorpWatch · Crude Accountability · EarthRights International · EARTHWORKS · EG Justice · Environmental Defense Fund · Friends of the Earth · Gender Action · Global Financial Integrity · Global Rights · Global Witness · Government Accountability Project · Human Rights Watch · International Budget Project · International Labor Rights Forum · Justice in Nigeria Now · ONE Campaign · Open Society Policy Center · Oxfam America · Pacific Environment · Presbyterian Church USA · Project On Government Oversight · Revenue Watch Institute · Robert F. Kennedy Center for Human Rights · Sierra Club · Sustainable Energy & Economy Network · United Steelworkers · United to End Genocide Isabel Munilla Director, Publish What You Pay United States 1100 15th Street NW, Suite 600, Washington DC, 20005 office +1 202 496 1179 mobile +1 202 680 4606 pwypusa skype isabel.munilla www.pwypusa.org Se pressemelding fra PWYP USA: