Publish What You Pay

I sent an email this morning to my Senators and Representative asking them to support the publish what you pay legislation that would require companies to publish the payments they make to foreign governments for oil, gas and minerals.

This year’s General Assembly adopted an overture from Chicago Presbytery endorsing the Publish What You Pay campaign. Sara Pray, executive director of the Publish What You Pay United States, and Samuel Nguiffo and Valery Nodem, both of the Relufa Network in Cameroon, spoke at this summer’s Intergenerational Peacemaking Conference about the campaign and ways we can become involved.

The campaign premise is fairly simple. Many countries have resources such as oil, gas, or minerals. These resources have to be extracted. Companies pay, often large sums, for the right to extract them. And often, those payments disappear before they benefit common citizens.

Publish What You Pay would require companies to open their books and make those large payments transparent. Hopefully this will encourage the use of the funds in ways that benefit all the people of the country involved.

Legislation has been introduced in both houses of congress that would require companies registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to report all payments of over $100,000 made to foreign governments for oil, gas and minerals. H.R. 6066 and S. 3389 bear the same name – Extractive Industries Transparency Disclosure Act.

Sarah Pray, coordinator of Publish What You Pay United States, says "The advantage of this rule change is that nearly all internationally competitive oil, gas and mining companies are registered with the SEC, and as such, the EITD Act represents an important step forward in creating a truly global standard for transparency."

Send an email and learn other ways to become involved.

Photo of Sarah Pray at the 2008 Peacemaking Conference by Irene Pak.

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