Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), the top Democrat on the Natural Resources Committee, today praised the Securities and Exchange Commission for approving rules designed to address the so-called "resource curse", where natural resources are wasted by ineffectual or corrupt governments or for other reasons.
Two rules were approved today by a majority of the SEC's Commissioners, one that requires companies to disclose when they use certain conflict minerals and a second that requires companies to disclose payments they have made to governments in connection with resource extraction projects. In June, Representative Markey was part of a bipartisan delegation of 58 Congressmen that sent a letter to the SEC calling the Commission to finalize and release both rules.
"These rules represent a new era of responsibility and transparency that could finally help end the "resource curse" that plagues many developing countries that irresponsibly manage their natural resources.
"Americans will now know whether the products they purchase are manufactured with conflict minerals from irresponsible governments like the Democratic Republic of the Congo, or whether companies are involved in questionable deals with foreign governments regarding the extraction of oil, natural gas, or other minerals. I applaud Chairman Schapiro and her fellow Commissioners for approving these rules on both conflict minerals and natural resource extraction payments to governments.
"Now that companies will be regarded to disclose this information in their annual SEC filings, I am confident that the American people and concerned persons from around the world will make use of this information, ensuring that the so-called "resource curse' in the developing world can finally be reversed."