S. 1700 (111th): Energy Security Through Transparency Act of 2009

111th Congress, 2009–2010. Text as of Sep 23, 2009 (Introduced).

Status & Summary | PDF | Source: GPO

II

111th CONGRESS

1st Session

S. 1700

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

September 23, 2009

(for himself, Mr. Cardin, Mr. Schumer, Mr. Wicker, Mr. Feingold, and Mr. Whitehouse) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs

A BILL

To require certain issuers to disclose payments to foreign governments for the commercial development of oil, natural gas, and minerals, to express the sense of Congress that the President should disclose any payment relating to the commercial development of oil, natural gas, and minerals on Federal land, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Energy Security Through Transparency Act of 2009.

2.

Findings

The Congress finds the following:

(1)

It is in the interest of the United States to promote good governance in the extractive industries sector because good governance strengthens the national security and foreign policy of the United States, contributes to a better investment climate for businesses in the United States, increases the reliability of commodity supplies upon which businesses and people in the United States rely, and promotes greater energy security.

(2)

Developing countries that derive a significant portion of revenues from natural resource extraction tend to have higher poverty rates, weaker governance, higher rates of conflict, and poorer development records than countries that do not rely on resource revenues. The consequences of what is known as the resource curse including the erosion of civil society, a rise in internal conflicts and regional violence, and the proliferation of terrorism are likely to pose a long-term threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economic interests of the United States.

(3)

Transparency in revenue payments to governments enables citizens to hold their leaders more accountable.

(4)

There is a growing consensus among oil, gas, and mining companies that transparency in revenue payments is good for business, since it improves the business climate in which they work and fosters good governance and accountability.

(5)

Transparency in revenue payments benefits shareholders of corporations that make such payments because such shareholders have a desire to know the amount of such payments in order to assess financial risk, compare payments from country to country, and assess whether such payments help to create a more stable investment climate. Undisclosed payments may be perceived as corrupt and as decreasing the value of the corporation.

3.

Sense of congress relating to transparency for extractive industries

It is the sense of Congress that—

(1)

the President should work with foreign governments, including members of the Group of 8 and the Group of 20, to establish domestic requirements that companies under the jurisdiction of each government publicly disclose any payments made to a government relating to the commercial development of oil, natural gas, and minerals; and

(2)

the United States Government should commit to global leadership of transparency in extractive industries by supporting—

(A)

multilateral pro-transparency efforts, such as the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, in revenue collection, budgeting, expenditure, and wealth management;

(B)

bilateral efforts to promote good governance in the extractive industries through United States missions and activities abroad;

(C)

the implementation of extractive industries reporting requirements for companies under the jurisdiction of the United States similar to the requirements established under section 6 of this Act; and

(D)

efforts to persuade other members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation to adopt uniform legislation to ensure a coordinated regulatory approach.

4.

Sense of Congress relating to the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative

It is the sense of Congress that the President should commit the United States to become a Candidate Country of the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative.

5.

Disclosure of payments to the United States

The Secretary of the Interior shall disclose to the public any payment (as that term is defined in section 13(m) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. 78m(m)), as added by section 6 of this Act) relating to the commercial development of oil, natural gas, and minerals on Federal land made by any person to the Federal Government.

6.

Disclosure of payments by resource extraction issuers

Section 13 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. 78m) is amended by adding at the end the following:

(m)

Disclosure of payment by resource extraction issuers

(1)

Definitions

In this subsection—

(A)

the term commercial development of oil, natural gas, or minerals includes the acquisition of a license, exploration, extraction, processing, export, and other significant actions relating to oil, natural gas, or minerals, as determined by the Commission;

(B)

the term foreign government means a foreign government, an officer or employee of a foreign government, an agent of a foreign government, a company owned by a foreign government, or a person who will provide a personal benefit to an officer of a government if that person receives a payment, as determined by the Commission;

(C)

the term payment

(i)

means a payment that is—

(I)

made to further the commercial development of oil, natural gas, or minerals; and

(II)

not de minimis; and

(ii)

includes taxes, royalties, fees, licenses, production entitlements, bonuses, and other material benefits, as determined by the Commission; and

(D)

the term resource extraction issuer means an issuer that—

(i)

is required to file an annual report with the Commission; and

(ii)

engages in the commercial development of oil, natural gas, or minerals.

(2)

Disclosure

(A)

Information required

Not later than 270 days after the date of enactment of the Energy Security Through Transparency Act of 2009, the Commission shall issue final rules that require each resource extraction issuer to include in the annual report of the resource extraction issuer information relating to any payment made by the resource extraction issuer, a subsidiary or partner of the resource extraction issuer, or an entity under the control of the resource extraction issuer to a foreign government for the purpose of the commercial development of oil, natural gas, or minerals, including—

(i)

the type and total amount of such payments made for each project of the resource extraction issuer relating to the commercial development of oil, natural gas, or minerals; and

(ii)

the type and total amount of such payments made to each foreign government.

(B)

International transparency efforts

To the extent practicable, the rules issued under subparagraph (A) shall support the commitment of the United States Government to international transparency promotion efforts relating to the commercial development of oil, natural gas, or minerals.

(C)

Effective date

With respect to each resource extraction issuer, the final rules issued under subparagraph (A) shall take effect on the date on which the resource extraction issuer is required to submit an annual report relating to the fiscal year of the resource extraction issuer that ends not earlier than 1 year after the date on which the Commission issues final rules under subparagraph (A).

(3)

Public availability of information

(A)

In general

To the extent practicable, the Commission shall make available online, to the public, a compilation of the information required to be submitted under the rules issued under paragraph (2)(A).

(B)

Other information

Nothing in this paragraph shall require the Commission to make available online information other than the information required to be submitted under the rules issued under paragraph (2)(A).

(4)

Authorization of appropriations

There are authorized to be appropriated to the Commission such sums as may be necessary to carry out this subsection.

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