U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) and former Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN), authors of the Cardin-Lugar transparency provision in Dodd-Frank, along with U.S. Senator Carl Levin (D-MI), have filed an Amicus Curiae in support of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which is defending a frivolous lawsuit challenging its final rule for implementing the law. In direct rebuttal to the American Petroleum Institute's claims, Cardin, Lugar and Levin submitted to the court that:
"Resource companies can believe whatever they wish and make any communication they wish about their payments to foreign governments, "the resource curse,' or the benefits or costs of transparency; they have done so throughout this process. What resource companies may not do is impede the power of the legislative branch to require disclosure of objective information to fulfill compelling public policy objectives, including the strengthening of American national and energy security and investor protections."
The amici brief details the extensive legislative history leading up to passage of the Cardin-Lugar amendment and the impact the "resource curse" has on developing countries rich in natural resources, as well as U.S. national and energy security.
"The Cardin-Lugar Amendment furthers the critical public policy goals of i) protecting United States interests in both national and energy security, ii) ensuring investor awareness and protection, and iii) promulgating American core principles of transparency, integrity and good governance worldwide. Members of Congress and the Executive Branch, on a bipartisan basis, have long supported transparency through comprehensive disclosure of payments made by resource companies to foreign governments on extraction projects undertaken abroad. This bipartisan dialogue culminated in the Cardin-Lugar Amendment and its implementing rule issued by the SEC."
As the United States Senators who were the authors and sponsors of Section 1504 ("the Cardin-Lugar Amendment") of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (P.L. 111-203/"Dodd-Frank Act"), the Senators have direct knowledge of the development and Congressional intent behind the substance of the bill, including the "consistency" of the SEC's final rule.