Norwegian state-owned oil company Statoil has formally distanced itself from a U.S. oil industry lawsuit that seeks to scrap a landmark transparency and anti-corruption law established in the United States.
WASHINGTON, DC – Prominent members of Congress submitted legal briefs this week to the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to defend a landmark transparency law against an oil industry lawsuit. The law, supported by the global Publish What You Pay (PWYP) coalition, requires oil and mining companies to publish their payments to the U.S. and foreign governments for resource extraction. PWYP member Oxfam America has also filed a brief as an intervenor in the lawsuit.
Newmont Mining, the third largest mining company in the world, by market capitalization, recently stated in a quarterly investor meeting, that it is not supporting a recent lawsuit against disclosure rules for Section 1504. They also indicated their support for transparency and reaffirmed their intent to comply with the rules, indicating that compliance with the rules is "not onerous" and represents a “de minimis requirement.”
WASHINGTON – British Prime Minister, David Cameron, has called for Europe to adopt oil and mining transparency rules that follow the model of landmark U.S. disclosure regulations adopted by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in August. The SEC’s regulations implement Section 1504 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, the so-called “Cardin-Lugar Amendment.”
As the International Board of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) meets in Lusaka, Zambia this week to discuss the future of the initiative, the Publish What You Pay United States coalition takes the following position:
PWYP members condemned the API and Chamber of Commerce pro-secrecy lawsuit filed to overturn the SEC's implementing regulations for Section 1504 and the underlying statute as "ludicrous" "out-of-touch" and "contemptible". PWYP members have condemned the lawsuit, and called on companies to disassociate themselves from it. Excerpts from press releases are included:
Today the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) took a historic step forward by releasing final rules for the Cardin-Lugar Amendment, Section 1504 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. These rules have been delayed for a long time, and civil society groups from all over the globe, along with investors with 1.2 trillion in assets under management, and over 60 members of Congress have written to the SEC calling for the issuance of strong rules.
See Senator Cardin's Floor Speech Urging the SEC to Act on Transparency Rule for Oil, Gas and Mining (August 2, 2012). On August 22, 2012, the SEC is due to release the final regulations for the Cardin-Lugar Amendment. As Senator Cardin said, "SEC needs to implement the laws under the direction and guidance from Congress. We've made it clear that we want openness and transparency...
"Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today announced the establishment of a national committee to guide and oversee U.S. implementation of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (USEITI), a voluntary, global initiative designed to increase transparency, strengthen the accountability of natural resource revenues, and build public trust for the governance of these vital activities. Interior is seeking nominations for the committee from industry, civil society, and other stakeholders."