On October 10, 2012, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the American Petroleum Institute and other groups filed a petition for review and a complaint with federal courts in Washington, D.C. challenging the SEC’s rule requiring resource extraction issuers to report payments to the U.S. or foreign governments for the commercial development of oil, natural gas or minerals. The SEC adopted the rule on August 22, 2012 pursuant to Section 1504 of Dodd-Frank. Our client alert discussing this rule is available here.
Resource extraction issuers are currently required to provide the new disclosure for fiscal years ending after September 30, 2013, and the reports are due within 150 days after fiscal year-end. It remains to be seen whether the SEC will stay the rule while the litigation is pending as it did when its proxy access rule was challenged in 2010.
With respect to the SEC’s conflict minerals rule, which was adopted the same day as the resource extraction rule, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is reported to be assessing the rule and may determine to challenge that rule as well. Our client alert discussing this rule is available here.