The Natural Resource Governance Institute condemns today’s vote in the House Financial Services Committee to proceed with a bill that would repeal a landmark U.S. transparency and anticorruption law requiring oil and mining companies to disclose payments they make to governments around the world for the right to extract natural resources.
NRGI calls for an immediate end to any further consideration by the House of H.R. 4519. It would repeal Section 1504 of the Dodd-Frank Act, also known as the bipartisan Cardin-Lugar provision. To act any further on this bill would be a gift to kleptocrats and unscrupulous oil companies that seek to do deals behind closed doors.
Once a leader in extractives transparency, the U.S. is now falling behind. Just last month, the U.S. pulled out of domestic implementation of a complementary program called the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative. Europe and Canada have passed similar laws to Section 1504 and have acted to implement them successfully. To date, hundreds of oil, gas and mining companies—including oil giants BP, Shell and Total as well as state-owned Russian and Chinese companies—have reported nearly USD 300 billion in payments to governments in over 100 countries around the world. Investors worth trillions of dollars welcome such disclosure as a means to manage risk, and citizens are provided with a powerful tool to demand accountability for the vast revenues oil and mining projects can yield.
Any rollback of Section 1504 would be the final nail in the coffin in terms of U.S. efforts to promote transparency and fight corruption in the extractive industries.
For more information, contact:
Natural Resource Governance Institute (London)
T +44 (0)20 7332 6114
M +44 (0)7823 442 954
Natural Resource Governance Institute (New York)
T +1 718-395-5179
M +1 917-545-0009