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Dodd-Frank Disclosure Requirements Will Hurt Energy Sector

Article by Bernard L. Weinstein February 13, 2013 //   2 minute read

Bernard L. Weinstein, The Hill

It’s been two years since President Barack Obama signed into law the comprehensive financial regulation reform bill known as “Dodd-Frank.” Though Dodd-Frank is aimed principally at the financial services industry, the act also includes new disclosure provisions for oil and gas companies. Specifically, Section 1504 of Dodd-Frank requires any company engaged in the commercial development of oil or natural gas, as well as hard-rock minerals, to disclose in its annual report certain payments made to the United States or a foreign government. Such payments include taxes, royalties, license fees, production entitlements and bonuses. Specific rules for enforcing this section of the law are currently being developed by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and the Commissioners are expected to approve them on August 22. The alleged purpose of Section 1504 is to increase transparency in the oil and gas industry, particularly as regards foreign operations. In practice, it will impose expensive compliance obligations and red tape on affected companies who are already subject to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) that prohibits payments to foreign officials for the purpose of obtaining or retaining business. Read More