Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

'Disappointing, Backwards Step': Critics Blast U.S. Exit From Global Oil, Gas Anti-Corruption Effort

Popular
Gage Skidmore / Flickr

The Trump administration has withdrawn from the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), an international anti-corruption initiative that requires member nations to report their oil, gas and mineral revenues, and for such extractive companies to report payments made to obtain these publicly owned natural resources.

The EITI Standard is implemented in about 50 countries around the world and provides the public information about how much government leaders receive in taxes, royalties and lease payments from such natural resource companies, as Bloomberg explained. For instance, this information would help ensure that revenue goes towards building or fixing roads and schools, rather than hiding away in foreign bank accounts.


“This is a disappointing, backwards step," EITI Chair Fredrik Reinfeldt said. “The EITI is making important gains in global efforts to address corruption and illicit financial flows. Our work supports efforts to combat transnational crime and terrorist financing. It's important that resource-rich countries like the United States lead by example. This decision sends the wrong signal."

Gregory J. Gould, the director of the U.S. Office of Natural Resources Revenue, sent a letter to the EITI board on Thursday saying the decision was “effective immediately."

“It is clear that domestic implementation of EITI does not fully account for the U.S. legal framework," Gould wrote.

Bloomberg reported that the withdrawal comes after the American Petroleum Institute, Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chevron Corp. lobbied against a similar regulation compelling U.S. energy and mining companies to disclose those payments, which President Donald Trump rolled back earlier this year.

"It's pretty disgraceful for the United States," Jana Morgan, director of Publish What You Pay, a coalition that urges financial transparency in the extractive industry, told Bloomberg. "Chinese state-owned oil companies and Russian state-owned oil companies" are disclosing payments.

"So you literally have American companies that are less transparent than Russian and Chinese state-owned enterprises," she said.

Democrats also criticized the decision. The Hill reported that the U.S. joined the agreement in 2011 after a joint effort from Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and former Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.).

In a joint statement, the Senators called the move an example of “Big Oil and Gas' money and influence" and “a painful abdication of American leadership on transparency and good governance."

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

The Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, Louisiana has been converted to a 1,000-bed field hospital for coronavirus patients to alleviate stress on local hospitals. Chris Graythen / Getty Images

An area in Louisiana whose predominantly black and brown residents are hard-hit by health problems from industry overdevelopment is experiencing one of the highest death rates from coronavirus of any county in the United States.

Read More Show Less
A woman lies in bed with the flu. marka/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

A central player in the fight against the novel coronavirus is our immune system. It protects us against the invader and can even be helpful for its therapy. But sometimes it can turn against us.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Several flower species, including the orchid, can recover quickly from severe injury, scientists have found. cunfek / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Calling someone a delicate flower may not sting like it used to, according to new research. Scientists have found that many delicate flowers are actually remarkably hearty and able to bounce back from severe injury.

Read More Show Less
A Boeing 727 flies over approach lights with a trail of black-smoke from the engines on April 9, 2018. aviation-images.com / Universal Images Group via Getty Images

With global air travel at a near standstill, the airline industry is looking to rewrite the rules it agreed to tackle global emissions. The Guardian reports that the airline is billing it as a matter of survival, while environmental activists are accusing the industry of trying to dodge their obligations.

Read More Show Less
A National Guard member works on election day at a polling location on April 7, 2020 in Madison, Wisconsin. Andy Manis / Getty Images.

ByJulia Baumel

The outbreak of COVID-19 across the U.S. has touched every facet of our society, and our democracy has been no exception.

Read More Show Less