In 2013 the United States District Court for the District of Columbia vacated the SEC resource extraction disclosure rules that were mandated by Section 1504 of the Dodd-Frank Act. Fifty-eight Democratic lawmakers have recently sent a letter to SEC Chair Mary Jo White asking that the resource extraction rules be finalized “on a faster, more definite timeline.” The letter notes “Resource revenue transparency allows shareholders to make better-informed assessments of risks and opportunity costs, threats to corporate reputation, and the long-term prospects of the companies in which they invest. It is no surprise, then, that investors with assets worth over $5.6 trillion recently called on the SEC to quickly reissue a strong rule to align with transparency rules in other markets.”
In what may be as rare as a case of man-bites-dog, big players in the oil industries are begging for regulation and are also asking that the resource extraction rules be promptly finalized (see letters from Chevron and Exxon). The oil industry players note that England is likely to implement similar transparency legislation, and is willing to consider rules proposed by the SEC. And the rest of the European Union is likely to follow England’s lead.