SEC Resource Extraction Payments Final Rule – Are We Having Fun Yet?
December 21, 2020
On December 16, 2020, a divided SEC adopted a final rule on the disclosure of resource extraction payments.
The final rule comes four years after a 2016 iteration of the rule was disapproved by a joint resolution of Congress, seven years after a federal court vacated the 2012 iteration of the rule and a decade after the Dodd-Frank Act first required the SEC to adopt the rule.
The SEC was faced with the daunting task of crafting a rule that (a) meets the detailed directive in the underlying statute, (b) complies with the Congressional Review Act prohibition on reissuing the 2016 rule in substantially the same form and (c) addresses the issues that had caused the court to vacate the 2012 rule. As a result, the new rule is similar in many ways to both prior iterations, but there are some important differences, most of which are favorable to affected companies as they expand available exemptions and attempt to both reduce the risk of competitive harm and ease compliance burdens.