USA: HFSC votes to repeal Section 1504 of Dodd-Frank requiring oil & gas companies to disclose payments to govts.

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Article
13 December 2017

House Committee votes to repeal anti-corruption safeguard

Author: Fact Coalition

The U.S. House Financial Services Committee voted 33-27 Wednesday to repeal a bipartisan anti-corruption safeguard — Section 1504 of the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 — in a move that was criticized by the Financial Accountability and Corporate Transparency (FACT) Coalition.  Sponsored by former Sen. Richard Lugar (R-IN) and Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD), Section 1504 deters global corruption and protects U.S. national security by requiring oil, gas, and mining companies that file an annual report with the Securities and Exchange Commission to disclose their country and project-level payments to host governments each year...

Earlier this week, the FACT Coalition sent a letter to members of the House Financial Services Committee in opposition to H.R.4519, the bill to repeal Cardin-Lugar.  The letter can be found here

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Article
13 December 2017

Majority of Republicans on House Committee vote to overturn landmark Cardin-Lugar anti-corruption provision

Author: Global Witness

Today’s vote by the majority of Republicans on the U.S. House Financial Services Committee to overturn a bipartisan transparency law is a major setback for combating corruption and a gift to big oil companies...

In February, the Republican controlled Congress voted to overturn the 1504 rule implementing the Cardin-Lugar provision. The vote in the senate came just two days after Rex Tillerson was confirmed as Secretary of State by the Senate. Tillerson had lobbied against the law while CEO of ExxonMobil...

 In November, the U.S. Department of Interior announced that the U.S. would withdraw from implementing the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), a multi-stakeholder global anti-corruption program for the oil, gas and mining sectors.  The move was a result of the insistence of major U.S. oil companies ExxonMobil and Chevron on keeping their U.S. tax payments secret...

All of these moves set the U.S. in opposition against a broader global trend toward greater transparency and accountability in how oil, gas and mining revenues are managed...

Claims made by the oil lobby that greater transparency will harm U.S. oil companies’ competitiveness have proven untrue. In fact, research concludes that increased transparency resulting from the disclosures required by the Cardin-Lugar anti-corruption provision could​ ​lower​ ​the​ ​cost​ ​of​ ​capital​ ​for​ ​covered​ ​companies​ ​by between $6.3 billion and ​$12.6​ ​billion.

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Article
13 December 2017

Senators call on House to block effort to roll-back transparency, anti-corruption standards for oil, gas & mining industries

Author: U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations

U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and a member of the Senate Finance Committee, and former Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Richard Lugar (R-Ind.), called Wednesday for Members of the House of Representatives to block H.R. 4519 from further consideration after it passed the House Financial Services Committee. The legislation would repeal Section 1504 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act, commonly known as the Cardin-Lugar extractives industry transparency provision...

Since the passage of Cardin-Lugar, America has led the international community in promoting transparency in the extractives industry. Over 30 countries have followed the United States’ lead in adopting similar transparency provisions for the majority of oil, gas and mining companies that compete with American firms. In fact, many U.S. firms are already disclosing their payments to foreign governments. Section 1504 is supported by a wide range of investors, companies and civil society organizations. 

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