By MIA STEINLE
In an attempt to combat corruption in resource-rich developing countries, two years ago Congress ordered U.S. corporations to disclose payments they make to foreign governments for the extraction of oil, gas, and minerals.
As supporters of the law saw it, the lack of transparency had allowed corruption to flourish and an elite few to profit from natural resources that should have benefited entire nations.
But the extractive industries protested that the requirements would damage their business, and they sued to block the rule that the Securities and Exchange Commission wrote to implement Congress’s mandate.
This week, the SEC stood its ground and refused to put the rule on hold while industry groups challenge the agency in court.