US Senators Introduce Energy Payment Transparency Bill

US Senators introduced on 23 September the The Energy Security Through Transparency (ESTT) Act. In a press release the bi-partisan group of five US Senators, Dick Lugar (R-IN), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Roger Wicker (R-MS), and Russ Feingold (D-WI) state that they introduced legislation in order "to reverse the “resource curse” by requiring companies to reveal payments made to U.S. and foreign governments for oil, gas and minerals. Currently countries rich in natural resources and rampant with corruption can hide the financial benefits they gain from energy companies and use the revenue to further finance corruption rather than invest in their people."

Further the senators state that the bill:

  • "Requires companies listed on U.S. stock exchanges to disclose in their regular SEC filings their extractive payments to foreign governments for oil, gas and mining;
  • Encourages the President to work with members of the G-8, G-20, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation to promote similar disclosure through their exchanges and jurisdictions;
  • Expresses the Sense of Congress that the Administration should undertake to become an ‘implementing country’ of the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (we are currently a ‘supporting’ country); and
  • Commits the Department of Interior to disclosing extractive payments received for resources derived from federal lands."

The full press release for the bill is here: http://lugar.senate.gov/press/record.cfm?id=318169&&

The bill itself can be found here: http://www.lugar.senate.gov/energy/legislation/pdf/1700.pdf