ExxonMobil attempts to reclaim seat on Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative Board, activists cite flawed process
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the US coalition of Publish What You Pay (PWYP-US), which advocates for an open and accountable extractive industry, called on members of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) to block the installation of ExxonMobil on the organization’s Board. Throughout the EITI’s 20-year history, ExxonMobil has continually failed to meet basic transparency standards and was recently found to be lobbying to undermine regulatory alignment with the EITI Standard on payment transparency. Ahead of the EITI Global Conference, beginning Monday, June 12 in Dakar, Senegal, PWYP-US demands ExxonMobil’s nomination to the Board immediately be withdrawn from consideration.
“ExxonMobil should not get a seat at the table while at the same time undermining its very purpose,” said PWYP-US Director, Carly Oboth. “ExxonMobil continues to fail to disclose project-level payments-to-governments in all countries in which it operates – the most essential element of EITI disclosures – and it has not honored the commitments required for supporting companies by the Initiative. ExxonMobil’s voice on the Board will further erode the EITI’s mission, jeopardize its integrity, and provide the oil industry with a dangerous opportunity to further undermine the organization’s deeply important work.
“While all other proposed Board members disclose their project-level payments to governments in all countries of operation, ExxonMobil continues to withhold this data. EITI must reconcile with this lack of adherence as soon as possible to ensure the organization maintains the necessary level of authority needed to succeed in its mission.”
EITI was established in 2003 to ensure transparency and good governance among extractive industries around the world. If ExxonMobil remains a nominee, PWYP-US will encourage voting members to reject ExxonMobil’s nomination and walk out of the meeting to deprive the EITI of a quorum to confirm a new Board. PWYP-US is also concerned that former prime minister of New Zealand and current EITI Board Chair Helen Clark and the International Secretariat has refused to publish details on this year’s assessment of individual company performance on the expectations before the Board vote. PWYP-US calls on Ms. Clark to publish this crucial data ahead of the vote and stop ExxonMobil’s ascension to the Board, in order to avoid a walk-out in Dakar.