Group plans lawsuit to force SEC oil disclosure rules

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The law requires the SEC to issue regulations that force SEC-listed oil, gas and mining companies to reveal payments to governments related to projects in their countries, such as money for production licenses, taxes and royalties.

The provision is aimed at increasing transparency to help undo the “resource curse,” in which some countries in Africa and elsewhere are plagued by high levels of corruption, conflict and poverty despite their energy and mineral wealth.

Oil companies say they support disclosure but argue that the rules could create a competitive disadvantage, while human-rights groups accuse the industry of seeking provisions that would gut the intent of the law. Click here and here for more on the battle over the rules.

Here’s more from the April 16 letter:

Oxfam America has appreciated the opportunity to participate in the notice and comment process and has done its utmost to work constructively with the commission. However, the commission's unreasonable and unlawful delay in issuing a final rule prejudices Oxfam America, both in Oxfam America's capacity as an investor in numerous U.S. extractives issuers and in its mission to assist communities in resource-rich countries in holding their governments accountable for the management of oil, gas and mining revenues.