Oxfam America files lawsuit against the SEC

It’s been about two and a half months since ONE delivered 143,863 petition signatures to the US Securities and Exchanges Commission (SEC), urging them to stand up to Big Oil by releasing a corruption-fighting rule… and we’ve heard crickets.

However today, Oxfam America, our Publish What You Pay Coalition partner is turning up the heat in a big way. They’ve filed a lawsuit against the SEC for unlawfully delaying the issuance of a strong final rule that would require disclosure of payments to from oil, gas and mining companies to the US and foreign governments. The final rule was due on April 17, 2011.

This was a follow up to Oxfam’s letter of April 16, 2012, asking the SEC to issue a final rule within 30 days or face litigation. And that deadline just expired as of today.

“We have been patient, but the Commission’s continued failure to issue a Final Rule implementing Cardin-Lugar frustrates Congress’ intent to increase transparency in resource-rich countries, said Ian Gary, senior policy manager of Oxfam America’s oil, gas and mining program. “ For those living in poverty in resource-rich countries, there’s no time left to wait.”

Gary added, “Oxfam America is simply asking for the SEC to follow the law.”

This is a very bold step on the part of Oxfam America to hold the SEC accountable for implementing the Cardin-Lugar extractives transparency amendment. We’ll keep you updated on the legal process.

To learn more about Oxfam America’s lawsuit, go to their website.