Dems ask regulators to rewrite disclosure rule for drillers, miners

Dems ask regulators to rewrite disclosure rule for drillers, miners

Several Senate Democrats are asking federal regulators to rewrite a financial disclosure rule for miners and drillers after Congress formally killed a similar regulation earlier this year.   

The Democrats, led by Sen. Ben CardinBenjamin (Ben) Louis CardinDems demand Tillerson end State hiring freeze, consult with Congress Former New Mexico gov: Trump's foreign policy is getting 'criticized by everybody' Dems put hold on McFarland nomination over contradictory testimony: report MORE (Md.), sent a letter to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Tuesday asking it to reissue a rule requiring oil and gas drillers and mineral miners to publish information about payments from foreign governments associated with their extraction work. 

“This anti-corruption transparency rule is necessary, particularly in times of conflict and market volatility,” the senators wrote.

“Transparency is a critical tool to ensure that citizens in resource-rich countries can monitor the economic performance of oil, gas and mining projects and ensure that such revenues are used responsibly.”

The request comes weeks after lawmakers passed a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution to undo a similar rule issued late in the Obama administration. Opponents of the rule said it would be burdensome for drilling and mining firms, and that it would improperly expose internal financial information on the open market.

President Trump signed the resolution in February, one of several CRA challenges he and Congressional Republicans have used to undo Obama administration rules.

Cardin co-authored the Dodd-Frank Act provision that requires financial disclosures from drillers and miners. 

The senators’ request to rewrite the rule could run into legal roadblocks in light of a CRA provision that prevents agencies from writing new rules that are “substantially similar” to those being taken off the books. 

But they told the SEC that the resolution “does not change the Commission’s legal obligation … to promulgate a rule that is fully compliant” with the Dodd-Frank law.