WASHINGTON — Lawmakers' intent to keep a watchful eye on Dodd-Frank implementation apparently extends to provisions having nothing to do with banking.
In addition to their hearings and letters to regulators on countless financial services-related rules in the reform law, House Democrats on the Financial Services Committee are also weighing in on foreign energy extraction.
Twelve lawmakers, including committee ranking member Maxine Waters, have filed an amicus brief backing a Securities and Exchange Commission rule that faces strong industry opposition. The rule, mandated by an obscure provision in Dodd-Frank, requires energy companies to report payments to foreign governments for exploration and extraction of oil and natural gas. Several business groups, including the Chamber of Commerce, filed a lawsuit in October challenging the SEC regulation.
The brief — also signed by Rep. Gregory Meeks, D-N.Y., ranking member on the panel's financial institutions and consumer credit subcommittee — defended the rule and the SEC's procedures for promulgating it.
"Congress and the Commission have had good reason for devoting so much time and energy to requiring corporate disclosures: increased disclosure goes to the very heart of the Commission's mission to protect investors and the markets," the lawmakers said. "Investors and the public need to be able to fully evaluate whether a company has properly addressed the commercial, political, and legal risks it faces when operating around the globe in environments where corruption is rife and rule of law weak."
The case, American Petroleum Institute v. Securities and Exchange Commission, is pending in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.