Here's a piece of good news you may have missed when President Obama signed financial regulatory reform into law last Wednesday: In addition to other good things, the bill will help grassroots activists worldwide hold their governments to account for the money they get from oil, gas, and mining corporations.
The secret? Information.
As Sojourners magazine described this February in "Tell the Truth and Shame the Devil," Publish What You Pay activists have long demanded that corporations who mine or drill be required to simply list their payments to foreign governments, their officials, and their cronies. Activists can then use that knowledge as power to help make the world unsafe for kleptocracy.
Rev. Alexa Smith of the Presbyterian Church (USA), part of the international Publish What You Pay coalition, has this to say:
This is an historic moment