House Dems press SEC to rewrite oil rule by year's end

Fifty-eight House Democrats are urging the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to speed up its timeline for proposing revised oil and mining disclosure mandates.

While the SEC has set March 2015 as a deadline for its first draft, the House Democrats want the rule, which would force companies to disclose payments to foreign governments, to be proposed by year's end.

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The lawmakers called for a a "swifter, more definite time line" in the letter sent to the SEC Thursday.

A rewrite of the 1504 section is required under the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform law, and has been the focus of a lobbying and political battle between oil companies and human rights groups in the last year.

The House Democrats stress that implementation of the section is "critical."

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

"We strongly urge you to prioritize setting out a swift and fixed timeline," the letter adds. "Including the release of a proposed rule for public comment no later than the end of 2014."

Signatories included Reps. Peter DeFazio (Ore.), José Serrano (N.Y.), Henry Waxman (Calif.) and Gwen Moore (Wis.). 

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