Lawmaker moves to scrap SEC’s ‘resource extraction’ rule

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By Sarah N. Lynch

<span class="articleLocation”>A senior U.S. lawmaker unveiled a legislative
plan on Monday to scrap a rule devised under the 2010 Dodd-Frank
financial reform law requiring publicly-traded mining, oil and
gas companies to disclose payments they make to foreign
governments.

Michigan Republican Bill Huizenga, who chairs the House of
Representatives Financial Services subcommittee on capital
markets, took aim at the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission’s so-called “resource extraction” rule, saying it
makes it harder for U.S. energies companies to compete.

The rule is championed by human rights organizations who say
the disclosure of payments to foreign governments by companies
like Exxon Mobil Corp and Chevron should help
reduce corruption.

But the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other industry groups
have long opposed it, saying it puts U.S. companies at a
competitive disadvantage and fails to provide investors with
meaningful, material information.

Industry groups successfully beat back the rule a few years
ago and the SEC was forced to go back to the drawing board.
Then, the regulator was accused in 2014 by the human rights
group Oxfam of dragging its feet on completing a new draft.

A federal judge ordered the SEC to fast-track the rule in
2015, and the agency issued a final rule last summer that is set
to take effect in 2018.

“The SEC continues to propose a resource extraction rule
that is overly burdensome, puts U.S. companies at a competitive
disadvantage, and fails to provide investors with useful
information,” Huizenga said.

Huizenga’s legislative proposal would kill the resource
extraction rule by using the Congressional Review Act, a largely
untested law which allows Congress to use a simple majority to
stop recently adopted regulations.



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