Five US senators have introduced a bill which would require companies with stock traded on US exchanges to report payments to foreign governments for oil, gas, and mineral extraction in their regular Securities and Exchange Commission filings.
The measure is designed to prevent governments in countries rich with natural resources from hiding payments they receive from energy and mineral producers to finance corrupt activities, the lawmakers said.
“History shows that oil and gas reserves and minerals can be a bane, not a blessing, for poor countries, leading to corruption, wasteful spending, military adventurism, and instability,” said Richard P. Lugar (R-Ind.), ranking minority member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the bill’s primary sponsor.
“Too often, oil money intended for a nation’s poor lines the pockets of the rich or is squandered on showcase projects instead of productive investments,” he continued.
Sens. Benjamin L. Cardin (D-Md.), Russell J. Feingold (D-Wis.), Charles E. Schumer (D-NY), and Roger F. Wicker (R-Miss.) cosponsored the measure.