WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and a member of the Senate Finance Committee, and former Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Richard Lugar (R-Ind.), called Wednesday for Members of the House of Representatives to block H.R. 4519 from further consideration after it passed the House Financial Services Committee. The legislation would repeal Section 1504 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act, commonly known as the Cardin-Lugar extractives industry transparency provision.
“Today, the House Financial Services Committee made the wrong decision when it passed H.R. 4519, a bill seeking to shield the extractives industry from fully disclosing their payments made to governments for oil, gas and mining. Who benefits from keeping the public in the dark? Secrecy breeds corruption,” Senators Cardin and Lugar said. “We urge all members of the House to oppose HR4519 in further consideration.”
Since the passage of Cardin-Lugar, America has led the international community in promoting transparency in the extractives industry. Over 30 countries have followed the United States’ lead in adopting similar transparency provisions for the majority of oil, gas and mining companies that compete with American firms. In fact, many U.S. firms are already disclosing their payments to foreign governments. Section 1504 is supported by a wide range of investors, companies and civil society organizations. This provision has brought together everyone from institutional investors worth nearly $10 trillion in assets to the everyday citizen concerned with protecting the environment or combating corruption – all agree that Cardin-Lugar levels the global playing field.
“We urge the House to reject proposals to overturn Section 1504 and ensure that the U.S. retains its position as a global leader on transparency and anti-corruption,” the Senators added.