EITI

EITI

In February 2018, civil society organizations, including PWYP-US,

filed a formal grievance with

the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) Board, documenting
violations of the EITI rules by ExxonMobil and Chevron and calling for the
companies to be held accountable and removed from the board. Signatories of
the letter included civil society representatives that served on the now

defunct

USEITI multi stakeholder group. The

letter documents


specific violations

of the the EITI Code of Conduct by ExxonMobil and Chevron that should lead
to their removal from the EITI Board.



This page serves as a public record of the background and
evidence of the civil society complaint, as well as how the grievance process is
being executed by the EITI Secretariat. A timeline is included
below with relevant key events.

Key Events – 2011 through 2018

2011 – 2016

● ExxonMobil and Chevron submit comments to the SEC during multiple

rulemaking

periods
seeking to weaken the rule.

April 2013

● The

EITI Standard

is expanded to require public, company-by-company, project-level reporting
in all EITI member countries.

December 22, 2015

● ExxonMobil and Chevron refuse to report their Federal corporate income
taxes in the

2015 USEITI report

(p. 68).

June 27, 2016

● The Securities and Exchange Commission publishes a

strong rule

to implement the Cardin-Lugar provision (also known as Section 1504 of the
Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act).

November 18, 2016

● ExxonMobil and Chevron refuse to report their Federal corporate income
taxes in the

2016 USEITI report

(p. 85).

2017

January 10-12

● A USEITI reporting improvement workshop is held in Denver.
Representatives from industry, civil society, and government are present.
The public

notes

from the meeting include the following:

“Section 1504 reporting is necessary to ensure reporting by covered
companies meets the requirements of the EITI Standard.

. . .

The group discussed the intrinsic nature of Section 1504 to the USEITI
process and its equivalence to implementing legislation. As such, should
1504 be undone, USEITI would not have a path forward to implementation and
validation.”

January 30

● Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-MI-2) introduces

H.J. Res. 41

, a Congressional Review Act resolution of disapproval to repeal the SEC’s
implementing rule for the Cardin-Lugar provision.

January 31

● The American Petroleum Institute sends a

letter

to Speaker of the House Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI-1) and Minority Leader Nancy
Pelosi (D-CA-12) expressing strong support for H.J. Res. 41.

● Ahead of the vote, API also sends a

fact sheet

with erroneous arguments to lobby members of Congress to vote in favor of
H.J. Res. 41. The fact sheet alleges that API’s support for transparency
was established because “API itself has been heavily involved in the implementation of U.S. EITI through our membership on the U.S. EITI’s
multi-stakeholder group.”

February 1

● The House of Representatives passes H.J. Res. 41 on a

325 to 187 vote

.

● The USEITI MSG meeting is held in Washington, DC. Members of civil
society voiced their grave concern about the role of MSG member
representing the American Petroleum Institute (API) in supporting the CRA.
Civil society made the case that API’s support for repeal of Section 1504
contradicted its support for the MSG’s

consensus-based decision regarding project-level payment disclosure

. During the meeting, the Designated Federal Officer cut off public comment
and MSG member discussion regarding Section 1504, and ended the meeting
early. Based on the controversy around Section 1504 and the CRA, government
members of the MSG sought and received support to shorten the February
meeting to one day.

February 3

● The Senate passes H.J. Res. 41 on a

52 to 47 vote

.

February 9

● USEITI CSO members issue a

public letter

to underscore concerns about API undermining the goals of USEITI by
supporting H.J. Res.41 and objecting to USEITI preventing civil society
from discussing this at the February 1 USEITI MSG meeting.

February 14

● President Trump signs H.J. Res. 41 into

law

.

February 23

● A Department of the Interior (DOI) official informs members of the USEITI
MSG that implementation subcommittee meetings are canceled through March
15.

March 9

● On a phone call, a DOI official informs civil society members that the
June and November MSG meetings will be canceled and that there would be no
path forward to EITI validation by April 2018, the country’s validation
deadline, because oil companies were refusing to disclose their taxes.

March 17

● USEITI CSO members issue a

statement

expressing disappointment with the March 9 call in which a DOI official
suggested that the U.S. would no longer be a candidate for validation under
the EITI Standard. The statement garners media coverage in

The New Yorker

,

The Atlantic

,

CNBC

and

The Huffington Post

.

March 31



Lobbying Disclosure Act reports

submitted by ExxonMobil, Chevron, and the American Petroleum Institute for
the first quarter of 2017 reveal lobbying on H.J. Res. 41 and S.J. Res. 9..

May 24

● Natural Resource Governance Institute CEO and EITI Board member Daniel
Kauffmann raises concerns about USEITI at the EITI International Board
meeting in Oslo, Norway.

October 25

● USEITI CSO members issue a

statement

seeking clarification from DOI Secretary Ryan Zinke regarding the
Department’s intentions for EITI implementation in the U.S. The statement
requests that DOI is accountable to U.S. commitments to the EITI Standard,
USEITI Charter, and the USEITI Terms of Reference and indicates the CSO
group’s eagerness to continue the activities of the USEITI MSG provided
that it is reinstated publicly, that the scheduled meetings are
re-established, and that a plan to move forward is implemented.

December 1

● Rep. Huizenga (R-MI-2) introduces

H.R. 4519

, a bill to amend the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 to repeal Section
1504 of the Dodd-Frank Act.

December 13

● The House Financial Services Committee approves of H.R. 4519 on a

33-27 vote

.

November 2



The US withdraws from the USEITI

.

● The Department of the Interior sends a

letter

to Fredrik Reinfeldt, Chair of the EITI Board announcing the

withdrawal of U.S. candidacy for EITI

. The letter makes the false claim that U.S. law prevents implementation of
the EITI Standard.

2018

February 7

● USEITI CSO members send a

letter

to Chair Reinfeldt regarding violations of the EITI Code of Conduct by
ExxonMobil and Chevron and call for the companies’ immediate removal from the EITI Board.

March 23

● The EITI secertariat legal counsel provide an analysis of civil society’s grievance. The legal analysis is communicated in a letter to the EITI Secretariat dated March 23, 2018.

April 3

● Signatories of the February 7 letter meet in Washington, DC with Chair Reinfeldt and Jonas
Moberg, Executive Director of the EITI Secretariat, to discuss the call
for ExxonMobil and Chevron to be removed from the EITI Board.

May 30

● The EITI Secretariat publishes a statement on its website in response to civil society’s grievance against Exxon and Chevron. The statement is also available here.

June 13

● Civil society submits a letter responding to EITI Chair Reinfeldt’s May 30 statement.

June 27

● Civil society submits a letter calling for reform of the EITI grievance process.

June 28 – 29

● EITI Board Meeting is held in Berlin, Germany.

Background

ExxonMobil, Chevron and the American Petroleum Institute (API) have been
opposed to the Cardin-Lugar provision (Section 1504 of 2010 Dodd-Frank
Act), a bipartisan anticorruption safeguard, for over a decade. The two
companies, working with and through API (both companies are members of
API), actively lobbied members of Congress to prevent passage of the
Cardin-Lugar law, to repeal it and to weaken or repeal its rules on several
occasions. Former U.S. Secretary of State and former CEO of ExxonMobil,

Rex Tillerson

, personally lobbied against the Cardin-Lugar provision before it became
law in 2010. The companies sought to undermine the effectiveness and
implementation of the Cardin-Lugar provision, including support for an API

lawsuit

to repeal the 2012 SEC rule, and by submitting comments to the
SEC calling for a weak rule. In early 2017, ExxonMobil and Chevron lobbied
for the

repeal

of the 2016 SEC rule –

lobbying disclosures


are available here

.

ExxonMobil
and Chevron’s
sustained opposition to the Cardin-Lugar provision directly conflicts with
the companies’

corporate


policies

in support of the EITI and transparency. The two companies have served on
the EITI board for many years,
and Chevron has
served continuously since its inception.

History

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 Department of the Interior was the overseeing agency for USEITI implementation. A multi-stakeholder group (MSG) of civil society, government, and industry actors cooperated 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 were 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 included 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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.