Activists and Advocates Tell SEC: "No Secret Deals" for Oil Companies

With regulators in the U.S. poised to release new standards for oil and mining company transparency, the oil lobby is pushing hard to weaken the rules before they go into effect, threatening to undo the intent of the Dodd-Frank reforms passed by Congress in 2010. But this week activists and international organizations are pushing back, through petitions, media campaigns and activity online and even outside SEC headquarters, all focused on a single message: It's time for oil and mining companies to disclose what they pay so that citizens and investors can get a fair deal.

Today, Oxfam America, Revenue Watch, Global Witness, Global Financial Integrity, The Task Force on Financial Integrity and Economic Development and Equatorial Guinea Justice placed an ad in the Wall Street Journal, rallying the public to stand up for transparency.

Oxfam also has advertisements on the websites of the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Politico, Huffington Post and The Hill throughout this week, linking to an online petition asking Chevron, Exxon and ConocoPhillips to stop obstructing the implementation of the Dodd-Frank reforms.

Philanthropist Bill Gates made a formal submission to the SEC, asking that the transparency rules remain "strong and robust" to benefit citizens of resource-rich countries.

In a campaign directed at European legislators, supporters of the ONE Campaign are asking leaders to stand up to corporate lobbying against new transparency rules proposed by the European Council in October.

To illustrate the huge differences between the wealth of most oil-producing countries and the revenues of big oil companies, RWI has also created a simple web feature for comparing country GDPs to the revenues and profits of some of the companies currently lobbying against strong Dodd-Frank disclosure rules.

And today and all this week, supporters of transparency around the globe are speaking out on Twitter. Follow the growing campaign and add your voice at #NOsecretdeals.

More to come …

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Jed Miller is RWI Internet director.

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