March 02, 2010

Lugar and Cardin praise UK energy transparency initiative

WASHINGTON—U.S. Sens. Dick Lugar (R-IN), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD), Chairman of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (U.S. Helsinki Commission), commended the parliament of the United Kingdom for introduction of an Early Day Motion which urges the United Kingdom to consider legislation similar to the Energy Security Through Transparency Act (S.1700).

S.1700 strengthens international disclosure efforts, 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.

“Transparency should be the global norm because it combats corruption, strengthens energy security, and encourages economic development in natural resource producing nations,” Lugar said.

“Greater transparency leads to greater stability in countries that benefit from their natural resources and lessens volatility in the global energy market. With Great Britain following our lead on energy transparency legislation, we are rightly putting human rights up front and empowering people to fight corruption and hold their governments accountable,” Cardin said.

The Early Day Motion states:

That this House notes that corruption in the oil, gas and mining industries has caused great human misery in Africa and other developing regions; considers that corruption would be curbed by full disclosure of revenue payments to governments by oil, gas and mining companies; further notes that the United States Congress is considering a law to require all such companies regulated in the US to fully disclose such payments; and urges the Government to consider similar legislation.

Learn more about the “resource curse” by reading the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Minority Staff report, "The Petroleum and Poverty Paradox: Assessing U.S. and International Community Efforts to Fight the Resource Curse."

Watch a video from the U.S. Helsinki Commission on the need for energy transparency and energy security at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CvZZ5uQ42Co.


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