As noted in this Locke Lord QuickStudy, on January 31, 2017, Republican lawmakers in the House introduced a resolution (“HJ Resolution 41”), relying on the Congressional Review Act, intended to kill the SEC’s disclosure rules for payments made by resource extraction issuers (the “Resource Extraction Disclosure Rules”). The rules, mandated by the Dodd-Frank Act, finally adopted by the SEC in June 2016 and effective for fiscal years ending on or after September 30, 2018, require disclosure of certain payments made to governments by U. S. public companies engaged in the commercial development of oil, natural gas or minerals.
On February 1, 2017, the House passed HJ Resolution 41 and, on February 3, 2017, the Senate approved the resolution passed by the House. Yesterday, on February 14, 2017, President Trump finally signed the legislation thereby killing the SEC’s current Resource Extraction Disclosure Rules. The action does not repeal the provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act that mandate the Resource Extraction Disclosure Rules, but the SEC is prohibited from proposing and adopting new rules that are substantially the same as the rules that were killed by the Congressional Review Act. For now, the SEC’s timing for any new rulemaking is unclear but, based on the long history of the rules that were just scrapped, we don’t believe any new resource extraction disclosure rules will be adopted in the near future.
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