The American Petroleum Institute, the oil industry's front group, has filed a lawsuit against the Securities and Exchange Commission to block a rule requiring oil companies to disclose payments above $100,000 to foreign governments. The rule is an attempt to end corruption and bribery in the oil industry's dealings with foreign nations.
Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), the top Democrat on the Natural Resources Committee, today released the following statement slamming API for their lawsuit:
"I'm sadly not surprised by the American Petroleum Institute's decision to sue the SEC to stop a rule that is designed to prevent bribes to foreign governments. API used to stand for American Petroleum Institute. With this lawsuit, it now stands for the American Payoff Institute.
"The SEC was required to release this rule under Dodd-Frank Section 1504, and in an effort to be conciliatory the Commission took over two years to finalize its rule. All the rule does is require companies to disclose any payments they made to governments regarding oil, natural gas, and mineral extraction projects in their annual securities reports to the SEC. API has apparently decided that an important effort like stopping corruption across the world is too burdensome for multi-billion dollar corporations, and is suing to block the rule."