The Project On Government Oversight (POGO) is urging its supporters to contact lawmakers meeting today to discuss eliminating an anti-corruption measure critical to ensuring American taxpayers can hold the government accountable for its dealings with the oil, gas, and mining industries.
The measure, known as the Cardin-Lugar Provision, or Section 1504 of the 2010 Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, requires oil, gas, and mining companies listed on US stock exchanges to disclose the royalties and taxes they pay to governments in order to extract natural resources, including those that are publicly owned.
POGO Executive Director Danielle Brian said:
“A vote against the Cardin-Lugar provision is a vote against American taxpayers and denies us our right to know how public resources are being managed.
If they gut the rule, the US will not only lose its position as a world leader in transparency, it will also put the federal government at greater risk for corruption and backdoor dealings.
The Cardin-Lugar provision is also an important safeguard for American companies against corruption and extortion abroad because it would prevent their transactions with foreign governments from being kept secret.”
Royalties from publicly owned natural resources have long been one of the federal government’s largest sources of income. It is currently more difficult to estimate how much money the extractives sector pays in taxes, but the Cardin-Lugar Provision would give the public access to this information.
Since the 1990s, POGO’s investigations into the federal government’s oversight of the oil, gas, and mining industries have uncovered widespread corruption and ethics violations that allowed the extractive industries to cheat billions of dollars of potential income from U.S. taxpayers.
The Cardin-Lugar provision is widely supported by investors, citizens, lawmakers from both sides of the aisle, and governments around the world. It is a key element of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), a global transparency standard in which the US participates. Companies operating in the European Union (EU) are also required by law to make similar disclosures.