12.11.15

Leahy Welcomes Long-Delayed SEC Draft Rule On Oil And Mining Transparency

WASHINGTON (FRIDAY, Dec. 11, 2015) -- U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Friday welcomed action by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to propose a rule on a long-delayed extractive industries transparency provision of the Wall Street reform law enacted in 2010.  The transparency provision was authored by Leahy and became Section 1504 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.

Leahy as a conferee worked closely with former Senator Dick Lugar (R-Ind.) and Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.) when he successfully offered the amendment during the Dodd-Frank conference negotiations that created Section 1504.  The transparency reforms require 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, Section 1504 will help empower investors with a more complete view of the value of their holdings, encouraging capital formation.  The reforms will bring more information to global commodities markets, contributing to price stability.  Leahy notes that the reforms also will help citizens in holding governments accountable for the decisions made in managing valuable oil, gas, and minerals resources and revenues.

A final rule on Section 1504 had been adopted by the agency on August 22, 2012, but it was subsequently vacated by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.  Since then, the European Union and Canada have both adopted transparency initiatives similar to the rule the SEC had initially adopted in 2012.

Leahy said:  “I look forward to reviewing the proposed rule, but after the SEC’s latest action it is clear that the commissioners have made an important step in the right direction and in following congressional intent by finally proposing this long-awaited rule for U.S. investors and citizens in resource-rich countries to hold their leaders accountable.”

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