In a predictable party-line vote, the US Senate voted late last week to repeal a regulation mandating that oil companies disclose the payments they make to foreign governments. The SEC rule was a proviso, finalized last year, of the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform bill and was intended to reduce corruption in oil and gas-rich countries by detailing royalty and other payments that energy companies make to foreign governments.
The move is part of congressional Republicans’ efforts to roll-back regulations former President Barack Obama imposed. The legislative mechanism through which this is being pursued is the Congressional Review Act. The repeal of the regulation followed a vote against the Interior Department’s stream protection regulation for coal mining.
The measure now goes to the Executive Branch, where President Donald Trump is expected to sign the resolution along with other measures. The White House says the SEC rule would “impose unreasonable compliance costs on American energy companies that are not justified by quantifiable benefits.”