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Hastings, Alcee

Chairman Hastings’ Amendment to HR 3221

  • Hon. Alcee L. Hastings
    US












House of Representative

110th Congress, First Session

Amendment No. 20 offered by Mr. Hastings of Florida: At the end of subtitle A of title II of the bill, insert the following: 

SEC. 2104. REPORT ON PROGRESS MADE IN PROMOTING TRANSPARENCY IN EXTRACTIVE INDUSTRIES RESOURCE PAYMENTS. 

(a) Purpose.–The purpose of this section is to– 
(1) ensure greater United States energy security by combating corruption in the governments of foreign countries that receive revenues from the sale of their natural resources, and 
(2) enhance the development of democracy and increase political and economic stability in such resource-rich foreign countries. 

(b) Findings.–Congress makes the following findings: 
(1) The United States is the world’s largest consumer of oil. The United States accounts for 25 percent of global daily oil demand–despite having less than 3 percent of the world’s proven reserves. 
(2) 6 of the top 10 suppliers of United States crude oil imports rank in the bottom third of the world’s most corrupt countries, according to Transparency International. 
(3) Corrupt and non-transparent foreign governments have a much higher risk of instability and violent unrest, often leading to disruptions of energy supplies. In addition, the citizens of such countries often remain impoverished despite significant resource wealth. 
(4) Oil is a fungible commodity. Therefore supply disruptions due to political instability in other parts of the world affect United States domestic price and supply regardless of the source of supply. 
(5) Transparency in extractive revenue transactions is important to decreasing corruption and increasing energy security. 
(6) The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) serves to improve investment climates through the audited disclosure of revenue payments. 

(c) Statement of Policy.–It is the policy of the United States– 
(1) to increase energy security by decreasing energy reliance on corrupt foreign governments; 
(2) to promote global energy security through promotion of programs such as EITI that seek to instill transparency and accountability into extractive industries resource payments. 

(d) Sense of Congress.–It is the sense of Congress that the United States should further global energy security and promote democratic development in resource-rich foreign countries by– 
(1) encouraging further participation in the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) by eligible 
countries and companies; 
(2) promoting the efficacy of the EITI program by ensuring a robust and candid review mechanism; 
(3) establishing a domestic reporting requirement for all companies that purchase natural resources from or make payments to government officials or entities connected with the extraction of such resources so that citizens can monitor expenditures by government officials to ensure accountability for illicit diversion and wasteful use of revenues received; 
and 
(4) seeking to establish an international reporting requirement similar to the reporting requirement described in paragraph (3) in order to ensure that all international companies and foreign countries are competing and cooperating on a level playing field. 

(e) Report.– 
(1) Report required.–Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, and annually thereafter, the Secretary of State shall submit to Congress a report on progress made in promoting transparency in extractive industries resource payments. 
(2) Matters to be included.–The report required by paragraph (1) shall include a detailed description of United States participation in the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), bilateral and multilateral diplomatic efforts to further participation in the EITI, and other United States initiatives to strengthen energy security, deter energy kleptocracy, and promote transparency in the extractive industries. 

The Acting CHAIRMAN. Pursuant to House Resolution 615, the gentleman from Florida (Mr. Hastings) and a Member opposed each will control 5 minutes. The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Florida. 
Mr. HASTINGS of Florida. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume. 

(Mr. HASTINGS of Florida asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.) 

Mr. HASTINGS of Florida. Mr. Chairman, my amendment is aimed at combating corruption in energy-exporting countries and promoting a global energy security. In my capacity as chairman of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, I have held a series of hearings on the issue of global energy security. I offer this amendment today as a culmination of findings from those hearings. 

This amendment encourages international participation in the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative and similar efforts. This amendment will increase the accountability of where our energy comes from by urging international disclosure of energy transactions and requiring the Secretary of State to submit an annual report on EITI compliance. It also states that it is the power of the United States to decrease reliance, energy reliance on corrupt foreign governments. I thank Chairmen Lantos and Dingell and my colleagues of the U.S. Helsinki Commission and the staff of the Helsinki Commission, and mine, for their anticipated support. I urge my colleagues to vote in favor of this amendment and the underlying legislation. 

Mr. Chairman, I rise today to offer an amendment to the H.R. 3221, the New Direction for Energy Independence, National Security, and Consumer Protection Act. The purpose of this amendment is two-fold: to combat corruption in energy-exporting countries and to promote democracy and the rule of law in these countries as well. In my capacity as Chairman of the bipartisan, bicameral Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE), I have held a series of hearings on the issue of global energy security in the 110th Congress. The topics of those hearings have spanned the vast diversity energy concerns of the 56 CSCE member nations. I offer this amendment today as a culmination of findings from those hearings. The United States is the world’s largest consumer of oil, accounting for 25 percent of global daily oil demand, despite having less than 3 percent of the world’s proven reserves. As a result, we are increasingly dependent on foreign sources of energy. Mr. Chairman, unfortunately, the countries that the U.S. has become dependent on for that energy are not reliable politically. In fact, only two of the world’s top 10 exporters, Norway and Mexico, are established democracies. The non-democratic exporting countries face political instability, which pose a serious threat to the supply and transit of the oil and gas that America runs on. While it is imperative that we work to limit our dependence on foreign oil and change the dynamic of supply and demand, it is just as important to create more stable and reliable sources of energy. As the National Petroleum Council recently reported, “There can be no U.S. energy security without global energy security.” 

Mr. Chairman, my amendment meets our objective of global energy security by supporting international participation in the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) and similar efforts. This amendment also urges these countries to establish domestic reporting requirements for all companies that purchase natural resources or make payments connected with the extraction of such resources to increase the accessibility of these transactions for accountable monitoring. My amendment further requires that the Secretary of State submit to the Congress an annual report which details the United States’ own participation in the Extractive Industries transparency Initiative, as well as our bilateral and multilateral diplomatic efforts to further global participation in EITI. This annual report would also entail other U.S. initiatives to strengthen energy security, deter energy kleptocracy, and promote transparency in the extractive industries. Finally, my amendment states that it is the energy policy of the United States “to increase energy security by decreasing energy reliance on corrupt foreign governments.” Mr. Chairman, in order to have a comprehensive energy security policy for the nation, we must develop a complete strategy to improve transparency and accountability in oil-exporting states. My amendment will do just that.

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