U.S. Senators Ben Cardin (D-MD), Dick Lugar (R-IN), and Patrick Leahy (D-VT) welcomed action today by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to implement the "Cardin-Lugar Amendment" on extractives industry transparency.
"I'm pleased that the SEC has adopted the long-overdue final rule implementing the Cardin-Lugar Amendment. Increased transparency reduces the risk for U.S. investors and allows citizens in resource-rich countries to hold their leaders accountable. Finally, the U.S. has the tools in place to add accountability and stability to the inherently unstable energy sector. It's now up to the extractive industries and regulators to make sure enforcement of the regulations complies with the intent of Congress," said Senator Cardin. "Increased transparency will not put companies that comply at a competitive disadvantage. We also expect, with U.S. leadership, the SEC rule will become the norm for governments and markets around the world."
"Information is power. It is power for shareholders and power for citizens living under oppressive regimes. With the Cardin-Lugar Amendment, the U.S. is leading the world in the moral and economic necessity to choose transparency over shadow, rule of law over corruption. Now that U.S. law will be implemented, we call on our European colleagues to join us," Senator Lugar said. "We will carefully examine the rule approved today that it conforms with the plain language of the law."
"Sunshine is a powerful disinfectant, and the SEC has just pulled back some curtains. I hope that the SEC's final rule relating to Section 1504 will increase transparency for companies involved in the development of oil, natural gas and minerals," added Senator Patrick Leahy, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee who as a conferee worked closely with Senators Cardin and Lugar when he successfully offered the amendment during the Dodd-Frank conference negotiations that created Section 1504. "This will help make governments in resource-rich countries more accountable to their people. It is too soon to tell whether this is a perfect rule, but it is long past the time for indecision and inaction. I commend the SEC for taking action to increase corporate responsibility, promote energy security and provide U.S. investors with the information they need to properly analyze these risks."
Earlier this month, Lugar and Cardin renewed their call for prompt SEC action to implement the Cardin-Lugar Amendment.
The Cardin-Lugar Amendment became law in 2010 as Section 1504 of the Dodd-Frank Act and required the SEC to promulgate rules for implementation. The Cardin-Lugar Amendment requires transparent reporting of payments made to governments for the extraction of oil, natural gas, and minerals by companies that otherwise must file disclosures with the SEC. Once fully implemented, the Cardin-Lugar Amendment will help empower investors to have a more complete view of the value of their holdings and encourage capital formation. It will bring more information to global commodities markets, which would benefit price stability. And it will help empower citizens to hold their governments to account for the decisions made by their governments in the management of valuable oil, gas, and minerals resources and revenues.