“Today, I can announce that the United States will join the global initiative in which these industries, governments and civil society, all work together for greater transparency so that taxpayers receive every dollar they’re due from the extraction of natural resources.”
The United States’ implementation of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) grew from a government-wide commitment to transparency initiated by former President Obama. The Open Government Partnership National Action Plans for the United States have included a commitment to implement EITI since 2011. The current National Action Plan calls for US EITI compliance no later than 2017.
The Department of the Interior oversees USEITI implementation. A multi-stakeholder group (MSG) of civil society, government, and industry actors cooperate in the design and implementation of the USEITI. The PWYP-US secretariat and coalition members, including the Project on Government Oversight, Global Witness, and Oxfam America are actively engaged on the USEITI MSG.
In March 2014, the US was recognized as an EITI candidate country. The first USEITI report was published in December 2015; the second USEITI report was published in November 2016. These reports include revenues, production data, employment figures, profiles of communities where resource extraction takes place, and a wealth of additional information about the extractives sector in the United States. Information about the US extractive sector can also be found through the interactive USEITI Data Portal.
US implementation of the EITI standard is under threat in 2017
The SEC’s implementing rule for Section 1504 was voided by Congress in February 2017. The rule would have required companies to report payments made to the US government, including taxes. Oil industry representatives on the MSG, led by Chevron, Exxon, and the American Petroleum Institute, refused to disclose tax payments if the Section 1504 rule was not in place. However, these groups have worked behind the scenes to weaken Section 1504 and the implementing rule. Without the rule in place, these companies refuse to report their basic tax information, thus putting the US’ ability to comply with the EITI standard in doubt.