Cardin Lugar Floor Speech
I joined with Indiana Senator Richard Lugar in introducing a bipartisan amendment that requires all foreign and domestic companies to include in their annual reports to the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) how much money they pay each government around the world for access to its oil, gas and minerals.
We normally think that countries with lots of oil, gas and minerals are wealthy and have the resources to provide for their citizens. What many don’t know is that roughly 60 developing countries are rich in natural resources, yet home to more than two-thirds of the world’s poorest people. Despite billions of dollars a year in oil, gas or mineral revenue, these countries rank among the worst when it comes to economic growth, authoritarian governance, poverty and political instability.
Creating a reporting requirement with the SEC is a simple step we can take to help ensure that oil revenues are used wisely. I’m proud that the United States has taken the lead on creating a global standard for transparency, but it is important that other countries follow suit. We are working with other countries that have major stock exchanges, like the United Kingdom, to encourage them to take similar action.
Transparency will help us keep markets stable, enhance energy security, and most importantly, helps alleviate poverty by ensuring that the blessings of natural resources do not turn into a curse.