WASHINGTON, DC – The Publish What You Pay US coalition cheered a decision by the US Court of Appeals to dismiss on jurisdictional grounds a lawsuit brought by the oil industry against a landmark oil, gas and mining payment disclosure law. Section 1504 of the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010, the so-called “Cardin-Lugar” provision requires U.S. and foreign oil, gas and mining companies to publish payments to US and foreign governments in annual reports to the SEC. Publish What You Pay US member Oxfam America is an intervenor in the case and argued that the case did not belong in the Appeals Court.
The decision comes on the heels of the announcement earlier in April of an agreement in the European Union to put in place similar payment disclosure requirements. As in the SEC rule, the European agreement includes no exemptions for companies, project-by-project reporting and a low payment reporting threshold. These requirements will put valuable information into the hands of citizens and investors, helping to ensure that natural resource wealth is used to fight poverty rather than to line pockets.
“Over and over, politicians, regulators and investors continue to be unconvinced by the oil industry’s spurious arguments against payment disclosure,” said Isabel Munilla, Director of Publish What You Pay US, a coalition of more than 30 anti-poverty, faith, humanitarian and tax justice groups. “It is well past time for oil companies such as Shell, BP, Chevron and Exxon, to drop their desperate and pointless attack on this disclosure provision supported by lawmakers, investors and citizens from around the world.” Leading Norwegian oil company and API member, Statoil, has “explicitly withheld support” for the API-led litigation. (Source : PWYP Website)