Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Revenue Transparency: because God doesn't like secrets

The Huffington Post is carrying an interesting editorial by Peg Chamberlain, President of the National Council of Churches of Christ, an ecumenical consortium of Christian denominations in the United States.

In the Gospel of John, Jesus states that those who do what is right do so in the light, while wrong-doers shroud their deeds in secrecy and darkness.
. . .
That is why so many in the faith community are strongly supporting an amendment to the financial reform bill that would require greater transparency for these companies.

TJN is open to all faiths, and to all non-believers, and all fence-sitters, we are firmly aligned with the thinking outlined above.

The Energy Security Through Transparency (ESTT) Amendment to the U.S. Financial Service Reform Bill, sponsored by Senators Cardin, Lugar, Schumer and Wicker, would require extraction companies to report what they pay to foreign governments. The bill would make the U.S. an implementing country for the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) and companies listed on U.S. stock exchanges would disclose in their regular SEC filings their extractive payments to foreign governments for oil, gas and mining which builds on the EITI requirement that all extractive companies operating in an EITI implementing country must report their payments to the government.

"Why is this important? Because oil, gas, and mining revenues are critically important economic sectors in about 60 developing and transitioning countries. Paradoxically, these "resource-rich" countries are also home to more than two-thirds of the world's poorest people and have been home to horrific acts of violence committed by those seeking to exploit those resources. Corruption and greed born of secrecy has led to the exploitation and oppression of thousands of people."


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