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Senate kills Obama transparency rule

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Hydrocarbon Engineering,

The US Senate voted Friday (3rd Feb) to repeal an anti-corruption rule, established by former President Barack Obama's administration, that requires energy companies to declare royalties and government payments in their business dealings. The rule, which took effect last year, was part of the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 – the sweeping regulatory package that established new restrictions and safeguards after the financial crisis and Great Recession of the late 2000s.

Obama's administration imposed the rule as a transparency measure intended to deter corrupt business practices in resource-rich countries. It mandates that oil, natural gas, coal and mineral companies must disclose royalties and government payments to the US Securities and Exchange Commission. The GOP-controlled Senate, though, voted 52 - 47 Friday to wipe it from the books. The resolution, which passed the House Wednesday, now needs approval from President Donald Trump, who is expected to sign it.

The vote split entirely along party lines. All Senate Democrats voted to keep the rule and all Republicans voted to scrap it. Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass., did not vote. The White House said the rule imposed unreasonable compliance costs on American energy companies and placed them at risk of losing out to foreign competition. The effort is part of the Trump administration's general strategy to deregulate corporate America.

Also on Friday, Trump signed an executive order to eliminate several regulatory provisions in the Dodd-Frank Act. White House spokesman Sean Spicer said that the regulations contained in the law are disastrous and overreaching.

Friday's vote follows another by the upper chamber late Thursday that passed a measure scrapping an environmental protection rule involving coal production. That Obama rule prohibited dumping mining waste in local streams and waterways.

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Downstream news US refinery news North America downstream news