Clinton: SEC should go ‘as far as possible’ on transparency rule

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, royalties and other aspects of energy and mineral projects.

companies say 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.

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.

“We know that there are challenges in
doing this. I hope the regulations expected from the SEC reflect the
clear intent of the law, namely to require all relevant companies
operating in this sector to disclose the payments they make to foreign
governments. I think everybody is benefited from the disinfectant of
sunshine and the spotlight to hold institutions accountable,” Clinton

She noted that the rules will complement State Department
efforts to improve oil-and-gas sector governance in other nations that have
large hydrocarbon reserves, pointing to State’s Energy Governance and Capacity Initiative.

The program seeks to “ensure sound and transparent energy-sector governance for the benefit of national economic development.”

This item first appeared in Tuesday’s Overnight Energy.

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