In response to the Senate passage of a joint resolution that, together with Wednesday's passage of House of representatives Joint Resolution 41, effectively repeals the bipartisan Cardin-Lugar anti-corruption rule also known as Section 1504, Oxfam America’s Senior Policy Advisor for Extractive Industries, Isabel Munilla made the following statement:
“Shame on the Senators who voted for corruption today. Under the guise of deregulation, Senators gutted a major bipartisan accomplishment that would bring sunshine to the payments oil companies make to despots and dictators. If President Trump is serious about his promise to “Drain the Swamp” and protect American Security, he will veto this dangerous bill immediately.
“It is clear today that many elected officials have no backbone when it comes to standing up to big oil. Doing the oil lobby’s bidding, they are undermining US national security, stripping critical investor protections, and promoting corruption all to protect secret oil payments to governments like Russia, China and other resource-rich countries. Rolling back on this bipartisan law has no benefit. It will only allow corruption to thrive lining the pockets of elites.
“In the five years after Section 1504 passed, more than $1.5 trillion should have been paid by oil companies to governments of some of the poorest countries on earth. This money should have been invested in building schools, roads and hospitals to fight poverty and improve global stability without using any foreign aid. But these payments will remain in the dark because of today’s actions.
“Along with transparency activists around the world, Oxfam will not stop pushing for such transparency - not in the rulemaking, not in the media, and not in the courts. We are exploring legal action and will continue to fight against radical secrecy that harms investors and the poorest people in the world. Exxon and the American Petroleum Institute may have successfully misled members of Congress for now, but we will not rest until the law is implemented according to its intent.”