USA: Civil society orgs. oppose deregulation efforts, in particular dismantling of Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform & Consumer Protection Act

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Article
10 February 2017

Leading mining firms' CEOs say US legal changes won't alter their disclosures on social impacts & governance

Author: Ed Stoddard, Reuters (UK)

Mine bosses say transparency will not be clouded by U.S. rule changes, 9 Feb. 2017

The expected demise of transparency regulations for minerals and oil companies listed in the United States will not cloud the global drive for financial clarity in extractive industries, company executives told Reuters at [the Investing in African Mining Indaba].  Efforts to shine a light on payments such companies make to foreign governments are considered key to eliminating graft, conflict and the so-called resource curse... The administration of U.S. President Donald Trump, however, has begun dismantling such transparency requirements... But companies with European Union and Canadian listings - or which work in countries that have signed up to the voluntary Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) - still have to abide by strict disclosure rules, executives say...

[The] chief executive of the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM),...Tom Butler ...was critical of the Trump administration's actions, but said they would not derail the broader global push for increased transparency.  "It's disappointing because overall the global trend is in the other direction. The train has left the station," said Butler. [also includes positive statements by CEOs of Gold Fields, Vedanta Resources for maintaining disclosures and avoiding deals with "illegal miners"]

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Article
30 January 2017

Human Rights Watch condemns congressional resolution to invalidate extractives transparency regulation

Author: Human Rights Watch

“United States: Don’t Cancel Oil Transparency Rule. Congressional Resolution Would Help Shield Corruption”, 30 January 2017

Republicans introduced joint resolutions in the US Senate and House of Representatives today that would gut efforts to carry out a key law for fighting corruption in resource-rich countries…The House…is expected to vote on the measure as soon as…February 1…The Cardin-Lugar Transparency Rule requires US-listed oil, gas and mining companies to publicly disclose what they pay governments for natural resources production in those countries. It represents the culmination of a…years-long rulemaking process to carry out the anti-corruption provisions of the Dodd-Frank financial reform law. Its repeal would for all practical purposes gut that section of the law. The proposed resolution would nullify the rule by using the Congressional Review Act…Governments in many countries have misused natural resource revenues, contributing to massive corruption, conflict, and human rights abuses. The rule…was meant to inject transparency into the system by ensuring that companies disclose what they pay governments…

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Article
30 January 2017

USA: House majority leader announces significant roll back on corporate regulation to 'revive economy'

Author: Kevin McCarthy, on Wall Street Journal

“How the House Will Roll Back Washington’s Rule by Bureaucrat”, 24 January 2017

…Faced with a metastasizing bureaucracy, the House is undertaking structural and specific reform to offer the nation a shot at reviving the economy, restoring the Constitution, and improving government accountability…First, we began structural reform by passing the REINS Act, an acronym for Regulations From the Executive in Need of Scrutiny. If the bill becomes law, new regulations that cost $100 million or more will require congressional approval before they take effect. The House also passed the Regulatory Accountability Act, which would require agencies to choose the least-costly option available to accomplish their goals. That bill would also prohibit large rules from going into effect while they are being challenged in court…Second, the House…will begin repealing specific regulations using the Congressional Review Act, which allows a majority in the House and Senate to overturn any rules finalized in the past 60 legislative days… 

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Article
26 January 2017

Civil society orgs. call on US State Department to ensure transparency & accountability in extractives sector

Author: Publish What You Pay

…Publish What You Pay is a global civil society coalition that works for a more open and accountable oil, gas, and mining sector…One of [the] core objectives is to ensure that citizens are able to follow the money paid by oil, gas, and mining companies to governments in order to fight corruption…The United States’ commitment to promote democracy and protect human rights…is a fundamental contribution to our common battle…Last month, PWYP launched a report with CIVICUS, the Global Alliance for Citizen Participation, that documents the disturbing increase in sometimes lethal risks facing citizens that tackle corruption and injustice in the oil, gas, and mining sectors…Now is the time when the United States government is needed…to defend civil society activists when they exercise their freedom of speech, and their right to fight oil, gas, and mining corruption…Equally important is US leadership in global efforts to counter corruption…by vigorously promoting transparency efforts…

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Article
26 January 2017

Civil society orgs. urge UK Prime Minister to advocate for keeping Dodd-Frank extractives transparency regulation

Author: Publish What You Pay

"Threat to United States extractive industry mandatory reporting law", 25 January 2017

…In light of…your Government’s strong anti-corruption commitments, we must alert you to a threat under the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to mandatory reporting in the United States. Certain US legislators are seeking to use the CRA to void the Cardin-Lugar anti-corruption rule (Dodd-Frank Act 2010, Section 1504), which requires oil, gas and mining companies publicly listed in the USA to publish their payments to governments. The first year of mandatory extractive company reporting in the United Kingdom…has been a real success. Similar laws exist throughout the European Union and in Canada and Norway, as well as in the USA. It would be a serious setback for global efforts to achieve greater transparency and accountability in the extractive industries…if mandatory reporting legislation in the US were to be rolled back. We urge you…to do everything possible to persuade your US counterparts and American legislators to ensure that the Cardin-Lugar anti-corruption rule…remains intact…

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Article
26 January 2017

FACT Coalition urges US Congress to keep anti-corruption provisions of Dodd-Frank Act

Author: Financial Accountability & Corporate Transparency Coalition

“Letter to House Urging Lawmakers to Oppose Efforts to Overturn the Bipartisan Cardin-Lugar Anti-Corruption Measure”, 26 January 2017

We are writing…to urge you to oppose any effort to overturn the implementing rules of the bipartisan Cardin-Lugar anti-corruption provisions (Section 1504) of the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010…It’s inaccurate to suggest that the implementing rules promulgated by the SEC…put U.S. companies at a competitive disadvantage. 30 other countries…have instituted the same disclosure requirements on extractive companies. This means that over 90 percent of internationally operating companies in the extractives sector are covered by these transparency measures. And, there are already reports coming out…from BP, Shell, and BHP Billiton—among other major multinational oil and gas companies. Despite this, no European company has suffered any disadvantage as a result of disclosures it has made. Moreover, it’s estimated that Cardin-Lugar would result in negligible compliance costs for American Businesses…We would strongly urge you to consider ways to strengthen anti-corruption measures rather than weaken this important safeguard…

[Also refers to Tullow Oil]

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