Publish What You Pay urges oil, gas & mining firms to support US law on disclosure of payments to govts. - statements of support by 13 firms

Transparency laws are key - credit: Publish What You PayBusiness & Human Rights Resource Centre has invited 30 companies to respond to an open letter by Publish What You Pay coalitions and several of their member NGOs.  The letter urges the 30 companies to issue statements in support of disclosure by oil, gas and mining companies of their payments to governments, and of US law and regulations mandating these disclosures.  This comes in response to action by the US Congress to undo regulations under the Dodd-Frank Act requiring transparency of these payments.  The open letter to these companies states, "Country- and project-level reporting of extractive industry payments is essential for citizens in resource-rich countries to hold their governments accountable for how they use the massive revenues they receive for their finite natural resources from companies. Oil, gas and mining companies need payment disclosure to maintain their social license to operate.  Without payment transparency, citizens cannot know how much money extractive companies pay to dictatorial and non-transparent governments such as in Angola, Equatorial Guinea, and Kazakhstan."

Company responses and non-responses (full responses posted below):

Statements in support

Other responses

Have not responded

Anglo American

Barrick Gold

BHP Billiton

Freeport-McMoRan

Glencore

Goldcorp

Gold Fields

Kosmos Energy

Newmont Mining

Rio Tinto

Teck Resources

Total

Vale

 

 

 

ConocoPhillips

Chevron

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AngloGold Ashanti

ArcelorMittal

BP

Eni

ExxonMobil

Hess Corp.

Hudbay Minerals

IAMgold

Kinross

Marathon Oil

Noble Energy

Pemex

Petrobras

Shell

Statoil

 

Further materials and commentary about the repeal of regulations adopted to enact Dodd Frank Act section 1504 on extractive industry revenue transparency are available here and here.

Get RSS feed of these results

All components of this story

Company response
3 February 2017

Anglo American response & statement on repeal of transparency regulations under US Dodd-Frank Act section 1504

Author: Anglo American

...[Although] we are not listed in the USA and therefore are not subject to the reporting regulations that implement Dodd-Frank Section 1504...we are subject to, support and comply with the EU Transparency Directive, which means compliance with the UK/EU project by project reporting requirement. Furthermore, we also comply with the Canadian equivalent from this year forward. Against this background and being a multinational company, we encourage alignment of transparency requirements across jurisdictions.

Download the full document here

Company response
3 February 2017

ConocoPhillips response & statement on repeal of transparency regulations under US Dodd-Frank Act section 1504

Author: ConocoPhillips

ConocoPhillips reaffirms that we endorse transparency in the extractive industries. We are a participating member of EITI... We note various other transparency initiatives have either been adopted or are under development in areas in which we operate... These initiatives include detailed mechanisms for payment transparency, which we believe can and should be accomplished in a manner that does not require companies to violate existing contractual and legal obligations and that (i) is fair to all participants in the extractive industries, (ii) does not place unreasonable administrative burdens and expenses on reporting companies (iii) does not place reporting companies at a strategic disadvantage as compared with non-reporting companies.

Download the full document here

Company response
3 February 2017

Rio Tinto response & statement on repeal of transparency regulations under US Dodd-Frank Act section 1504

Rio Tinto supports tax transparency and initiatives like EITI as a cornerstone of good governance and to improve understanding of the mining sector's economic contribution.  We voluntarily published our first Taxes Paid report in 2010 and have continued to publish every year since.  We also comply with mandatory reporting obligations under the UK Reports on Payments to Governments Regulations and the Canadian Extractive Sector Transparency Measures Act.  We support consistent global standards of tax transparency and reporting applying in all countries.

Item
3 February 2017

U.S. Congress Votes for Corruption by Overturning Historic Transparency Law in Gift to Big Oil

Author: Global Witness (UK)

Today’s decision by the Republican-led U.S. Senate to overturn a rule designed to stop oil companies striking corrupt deals with foreign governments is a grave threat to U.S. national security and an astonishing gift to big oil, said Global Witness. The news comes just two days after Rex Tillerson, a longstanding opponent of the law while CEO of ExxonMobil, was confirmed as Secretary of State... The law...requires U.S.-listed extractive companies like Exxon, Chevron and several Chinese oil majors to publish details of the hundreds of billions of dollars they pay to governments across the world in return for rights to natural resources. Bringing shady oil deals to light should help ensure these vast public revenues benefit all instead of lining the pockets of corrupt elites. However, this week, Congress voted to rescind the implementing regulation...

“...Now [Tillerson is] Secretary of State Congress has immediately sanctioned corruption by green lighting secret deals between oil companies and despots. These deals deprive some of the world’s poorest people of oil wealth that is rightfully theirs...,” said Corinna Gilfillan, Head of U.S. Office of Global Witness... Thirty other major economies around the world, including the UK, Canada, Norway and all 27 members of the European Union, have laws requiring their oil, gas and mining companies to disclose their payments to governments. Dozens of major European and Russian oil companies have already published their payments to governments. Claims made by the oil lobby that greater transparency will harm U.S. oil companies’ competitiveness has proven untrue...

Bishop Cantu, Chairman of the Committee on International Justice and Peace at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops said, “Transparency in extractive industry payments to governments is important to us as leaders of the Catholic community of faith... We believe these principles, policies, and rules can help protect the lives, dignity and rights of some of the poorest and most vulnerable people on earth. The rules have moral and human consequences as well as economic and political impact.”

Read the full post here

Article
3 February 2017

US Senate Overturns Dodd-Frank Transparency Measure

Author: Jubilee USA Network

The US Senate voided a rule requiring greater financial transparency in the oil, gas and mining industries by a vote of 52-47... The resolution voiding the rule has already passed the House. Now the resolution goes to President Trump, who is expected to sign it.  Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of the religious development organization Jubilee USA, [said]..."We are worried how this action will impact poor and vulnerable communities.  Congress acted hastily and didn't take the time to understand how this action affects transparency and accountability..."

Read more about the Cardin-Lugar amendment

Read the oped published on 1504 from Eric LeCompte, Jubilee USA executive director

Read the letter Jubilee USA's executive director sent to Congress on the legislation

Read the full post here

Company response
3 February 2017

BHP response & statement on repeal of transparency regulations under US Dodd-Frank Act section 1504

Author: BHP Billiton

“BHP Billiton is aware of on-going developments around the Congressional Review Act now being considered by US Congress and we are in discussion with relevant Washington stakeholders on this matter.

As clearly outlined  in our Economic Contribution and Payment to Governments Reports of 2015 and 2016 , BHP Billiton supports the establishment of a globally consistent mandatory disclosure framework with equivalency provisions across jurisdictions. Consistency of financial disclosure makes good business sense: It provides regulatory certainty, reduces compliance costs and facilitates ease of comparison of disclosed financial information across jurisdictions, which is in turn critical for civil society and other users of financial disclosure data.  BHP Billiton expressed these views to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) during their 2016 rule making process.

As a UK-listed company, we will continue to disclose our payments of taxes and royalties under the European Union Directive and support the establishment of a globally consistent mandatory disclosure framework with equivalency provisions across jurisdictions.”

Download the full document here

Company response
3 February 2017

Glencore response & statement on repeal of transparency regulations under US Dodd-Frank Act section 1504

Author: Glencore

We note that Glencore is identified in Publish What You Pay Global Coalition’s open message to US-listed EITI companies. While Glencore is not listed in the US and not required to report under the Dodd Frank Act 2010, Section 1504, we are strong supporters of transparency around payments made to governments in resource producing countries.

In line with the requirements of Chapter 10 of the EU Accounting Directive, we produce annual reports on payments to governments and on our economic contribution.

Glencore is a supporter of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), and participates in EITI’s activities in the countries in which we operate. 

Download the full document here

Item
2 February 2017

A gift for Putin, courtesy of Congress

Author: Jana Morgan, Director, Publish What You Pay - United States

With unresolved questions lingering about Russia’s interference in...[US] elections, it is peculiar that one of the apparent priorities of the new Congress is to hand Russian president Vladimir Putin a rather valuable gift.  Only one month on the job the House has rushed to kill a regulation intended to make it more difficult for Vladimir Putin and other corrupt leaders to rule with impunity. It’s an odd thing to do, especially when doing so would undermine U.S. security and foreign policy objectives.  Why would Congress do such a short-sighted thing? Money. Not yours, but that of oil companies, namely the profits of big oil companies and the millions of dollars the oil industry generously “donates” to members of Congress each year... 

The regulation in question, a bipartisan anti-corruption provision passed in 2010..., requires oil, gas and mining companies to disclose the payments they make to government around the world. This includes places like Russia, China, and many other non-democracies whose leaders treat oil revenues as a state secret in order to stay in power and enrich themselves at the expense of their citizens, millions of whom struggle just to survive. Put an end to that secrecy, and suddenly citizens are empowered with information they can use to hold their leaders accountable. [refers to ExxonMobil]

Read the full post here

Company response
2 February 2017

Kosmos response & statement on repeal of transparency regulations under US Dodd-Frank Act section 1504

Kosmos would like to refer all interested parties to our long held position... Kosmos believes resource revenues are more likely to be managed in the best interests of a country if payments and receipts are made transparently, and if accountability measures are in place for the use of these revenues. Ideally, this process is underpinned by a national dialogue in which industry plays its part as a partner with government and civil society. Kosmos is committed to advocating for transparency in our dealings with host governments...

In October 2015, Kosmos submitted a comment letter to the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as part of the SEC rulemaking process for Section 1504 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which proposed requiring US-listed companies to disclose payments to US and foreign governments as a standard part of their reporting to the SEC…

Download the full document here

Company response
2 February 2017

Newmont response & statement on repeal of transparency regulations under US Dodd-Frank Act section 1504

Author: Newmont Mining (USA)

The Importance and Value of Revenue Transparency

Newmont’s long-standing practice of transparently reporting tax and royalty payments in the countries where we operate is anchored in our commitment to the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI). Newmont became a founding participant of the EITI – along with the Publish What You Pay (PWYP) campaign – in 2003... Newmont has actively encouraged the countries in which we operate – including the United States – to join and abide by the obligations associated with EITI membership. Newmont also is a member of the U.S. EITI Multi-Stakeholder Group working to establish the framework for the U.S. to join the EITI... Newmont believes that revenue transparency is essential to generating long-term value... In addition, reporting those revenues according to internationally accepted standards makes that information more credible and accessible to all stakeholders.

[Newmont's response also referred to its 2013 letter to the US Securities and Exchange Commission, during the SEC's rulemaking to implement the revenue transparency provisions of the US Dodd Frank Act (section 1504), which states Newmont's support of those provisions and their objectives.]

Read the full post here