House Dems to Reid: No Dodd-Frank waiver in drilling bill

Senior House Democrats are urging Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to ensure that legislation to implement a U.S.-Mexico offshore drilling pact doesn’t waive regulations that force oil companies to disclose payments to foreign governments.

Their letter to Reid arrives amid negotiations to craft a final House-Senate deal to implement the U.S.-Mexico Transboundary Hydrocarbons Agreement (THA), a 2012 pact to enable offshore drilling cooperation along a maritime boundary in the Gulf of Mexico.

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The top Democrats on three House committees, in their letter to Reid, urge the senator to reject “any effort” to include a waiver of Securities and Exchange Commission disclosure rules that are required under the 2010 Dodd-Frank law.

The letter is from House Natural Resources Committee Ranking Member Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), Financial Services Committee Ranking Member Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) and Foreign Affairs Committee Ranking Member Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.).

The House-approved version of the implementing bill included the GOP-backed waiver that Democrats oppose, while it’s omitted from the version that sailed through the Senate with bipartisan and Obama administration support.

“Resource revenue transparency allows shareholders to make better-informed assessments of risks and opportunity costs, threats to corporate reputation, and the long-term prospects of the companies in which they invest,” the letter from the House Democrats to Reid states.