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Statement: SEC’s Gift to Fossil Fuel Signals Dark Day for Global Anti-Corruption Efforts

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is planning to authorize an extremely weak version of the oil anti-corruption rule originally authorized by Section 1504 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.

The Cardin-Lugar amendment requiring oil and gas companies to disclose payments to foreign governments established an international standard and inspired other countries to follow suit. Lisa Gilbert, executive vice president for Public Citizen, released the following statement:

“After a robust version of the rule was eliminated by Republicans in Congress, Jay Clayton’s SEC is seeking to lock in a replacement rule rife with half-measures and loopholes. The final rule bends to the fossil fuel lobby’s demands, especially in allowing companies to keep secret the tax subsidies they receive from the federal government.

“As U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) said at the time, ‘Too often, oil money intended for a nation’s poor ends up lining the pockets of the rich or is squandered on showcase projects instead of productive investments.’ Public Citizen agrees.

“Public Citizen calls on Chairman Clayton to halt this move by the commission that would reduce transparency and invite corrupt industry payments to foreign officials. The Biden administration also must work to restore the rule to the strong Obama-era standards and restore America’s place as a global leader in anti-corruption and transparency.”