Energy Security Through Transparency Act of 2009
Washington, D.C. (Vocus) September 23, 2009
A little freedom of information could make a big difference in reducing global instability that threatens U.S. energy and mineral supply chains, say bipartisan backers of a bill introduced this week in Congress, subject of a press conference call at noon Eastern today, Tuesday, Sept. 22.
The "Energy Security Through Transparency Act of 2009," being introduced in the U.S. Senate by Sens. Richard Lugar (R-IN) and Ben Cardin (D-MD), would require energy and mining companies to publish how much they pay to foreign countries and the U.S. government for oil, gas, coal, and other minerals.
Citizens can use that information to press for their fair share, and the problems of corruption, sabotage, and insurrection become less severe, say proponents who will take questions on today's call. Companies would experience reduced risk to the raw materials they rely on, with greater stability and security of the supply chain.
To attend, members of the media should dial 800-944-8766 at noon EST and give the operator the passcode 57227.
For background information, please see collected links and documents here.
The call will be moderated by Ian Gary, Senior Policy Advisor for Extractive Industries at Oxfam America, who will provide an overview of the current situation. Other participants will include:
-- Dave Baker, Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer, Newmont Mining Company, who will discuss the potential benefits of the proposed disclosure rule to his company's gold and silver mining business in countries such as Ghana, Peru, and Indonesia.
-- Bishop Akolgo, Executive Director, Integrated Social Development Centre, Ghana, who will explain how clear and open information can benefit a resource-rich country by reducing embezzlement and corruption, and addressing situations in which an elite few enjoy vast wealth while most of the country barely scrapes by.
-- Bennett Freeman, Senior Vice President for Social Research and Policy, Calvert Asset Management Co., who will outline the risks that a lack of open information creates for investors, and how a simple rule change could improve the stability of America's supply chain worldwide.
In addition to the press conference call, journalists in the D.C. area are invited to attend a reception from 6 to 7 pm tomorrow, Wednesday, Sept. 23, at House of Sweden, 2900 K St, Washington, D.C., where over 200 participants - including dozen of activists from around the world - will be attending a conference on better management of natural resources. One-on-one interviews can be arranged about current injustices and the progress being made. Advance registration is required to attend the reception. Please RSVP to Patricia Charles, 301-887-1060 x111.
The conference call and reception will be hosted by Publish What You Pay US, a member of a global coalition of 350 groups working in 50 countries.
For video and more information, please see http://www.openthebooks.org.
PWYP U.S. Member Organizations: ActionAid International USA • Bank Information Center • CARE • Catholic Relief Services • CorpWatch • EARTHWORKS • EG Justice • Environmental Defense • Friends of the Earth • Gender Action • Global Rights • Global Witness • Globalization Challenge Initiative • Government Accountability Project • Human Rights Watch • International Budget Project • International Labor Rights Forum • Open Society Policy Center • Oxfam America • Pacific Environment • Presbyterian Church USA • Revenue Watch Institute • Robert F. Kennedy Center for Human Rights • Sierra Club • Sustainable Energy & Economy Network