OTG calls on Congress to protect anti-corruption transparency law

OpenTheGovernment is urging members of Congress to vote “No” on legislation that would repeal a critically important anti-corruption law that requires oil, gas and mining companies to disclose their payments to governments. The law, known as the “Cardin-Lugar transparency provision” or Section 1504, has been a crucial tool in U.S. efforts to combat corruption abroad, as well as to secure U.S. national and energy security interests.

The law is now in danger of being repealed by this Congress.

Congress already voted to repeal the SEC's implementing regulation on the Cardin-Lugar transparency provision earlier this year, and now the House is trying to repeal the entire law, as they plan to markup H.R. 4519 as early as tomorrow, December 12th.  Our partners at Global Witness are calling on you to take action to urge Congress to protect this important transparency law.

Call or write members of Congress (Sample Letter):

 

Sample phone script:

Hi, my name is X. I’m from X and I’m calling to urge Representative X to vote no on H.R. 4519, which would repeal the Cardin-Lugar anti-corruption law, also known as Section 1504. This is a critical law that requires oil gas and mining companies to disclose their payments to governments. Oil, gas and mining transparency is a crucial tool in US efforts to combat corruption abroad, as well as to secure our national and energy security interests. Investors with nearly $10 trillion in assets under management support this law. H.R. 4519 would undermine US national security interests and put US companies at a greater risk for corruption and extortion abroad. It also could make the US more susceptible to instability, conflict, and violent extremism.

Sample email:

Hi, my name is X. I’m from X and I’m writing to urge Representative X to vote against H.R. 4519 to repeal the Cardin-Lugar anti-corruption law, also known as Section 1504. It is a critical law that requires oil gas and mining companies to disclose their payments to governments.

My organization, and our members, have supported this law, and its subsequent regulations, for many years. Oil, gas and mining transparency is a crucial tool in US efforts to combat corruption abroad, as well as to secure our national and energy security interests. There is also support from civil society groups, academics, investors with nearly $10 trillion in assets under management – and a majority of extractives companies for this important law.

The Cardin-Lugar anti-corruption law, before it was passed in 2010, had a long legislative history as bipartisan standalone bills in the House and Senate. Numerous Congressional reports and hearings analyzed the importance of combatting corruption in the oil, gas, and mining sector and concluded the crucial role transparency plays.

Please vote no as Representative Huizenga’s bill, H.R. 4519, would undermine US national security interests and put US companies at a greater risk for corruption and extortion abroad. It also could make the US more susceptible to instability, conflict, and violent extremism.

Many thanks,

 

Background: OTG partners Global Witness, co-founder of the Publish What You Pay (PWYP) coalition, has led the global movement behind the law, which paved the way for the EU, Canada and Norway to introduce matching legislation and create of a global standard for revenue transparency. The laws were spurred in large part by the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), a voluntary plan implemented in 51 countries for extractive companies to declare what they pay to governments, and for governments to declare what they receive.

EITI was established in response to a global civil society anti-corruption movement led by PWYP and others, and paved the way for the creation of the ground-breaking Cardin-Lugar anti-corruption law, which ensures disclosure from major companies, such as ExxonMobil and Chevron, as well as foreign giants such as PetroChina and Petrobras. In another major setback for transparency, the Trump Administration has also officially withdrawn from EITI, threatening the public’s right to know where money from the extraction of public land is being used.

Submitted by jfranzblau on 12/11/2017