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API lauds court win ending SEC’s anti-competitive disclosure rule

WASHINGTON, July 2, 2013 – The American Petroleum Institute (API) welcomed a decision by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia that will stop the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC’s) implementation of Section 1504 of the Dodd-Frank Act. API and a coalition of concerned business groups challenged the anti-competitive rule.

“Today’s decision is a win for American jobs, for our economy and for international transparency,” said Harry Ng, API vice president and general counsel. “U.S. companies are leading the way to increase transparency, but the rule would have jeopardized transparency efforts already underway by making American firms less competitive against state-owned oil companies.”

Ng said the industry is working with civil society groups and the Obama administration to implement the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), a program that would effectively promote transparency without harming American companies and investors. The initiative is being implemented in 36 countries and continues to grow.

“The court has vacated the SEC’s requirement that U.S. companies report competitive information that can be used against them by global competitors,” Ng said.

The SEC rule required publicly traded energy companies to release commercially sensitive, detailed payment information about foreign and U.S. projects, according to API. Companies would have had to reveal extensive data about how much they pay in licenses, taxes, royalties and other fees – giving their foreign competitors an upper hand when bidding for energy contracts. The SEC conservatively estimates that the rule would impose at least $14 billion in costs on American companies and investors.

API is a national trade association that represents all segments of America’s technology-driven oil and natural gas industry. Its more than 500 members – including large integrated companies, exploration and production, refining, marketing, pipeline, and marine businesses, and service and supply firms – provide most of the nation’s energy. The industry also supports 9.2 million U.S. jobs and 7.7 percent of the U.S. economy, delivers $85 million a day in revenue to our government, and, since 2000, has invested over $2 trillion in U.S. capital projects to advance all forms of energy, including alternatives.